Model United Nations (MUN) is an activity in which students role play delegates from UN member states and simulate UN committees where current issues are debated. This activity takes place at MUN conferences, which are organised by many schools and universities.
Why do MUN?
MUN can help you gain or develop a very interesting skill set for your curriculum vitae including research skills, drafting, critical thinking, teamwork, deliberation, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership skills. During the conference, you will look at issues from multiple points of view, listen actively, show empathy, resolve conflicts and learn to take effective notes, thus growing in confidence, developing persuasive skills and developing your ability to show grace under pressure. You will also learn a lot about current affairs, human rights, protection of the environment, economics, issues of war and peace and much more. You will do this in a fun way, making many new friends from other schools at the same time. MUN is all about expanding visions from national to international and developing international cooperation. The research and preparation required, the adoption of views and attitudes other than one's own and the involvement and interaction with so many other young people from around the world all combine to give participants deep insights into world problems and opportunities, developing awareness of the root causes of conflict between nations and encouraging a better understanding of the interests and motivation of others. A further key benefit of MUN is that it provides you with a huge opportunity to focus on your public speaking skills throughout the conference - you learn that your words can make a difference.
Why are public speaking skills important?
The Oxford University Debate Club (Oxford Union) advertisement below shows us the power of public speaking to share ideas that shape our world.
The UK has hadfifty-four prime ministers since parliament began - nineteen of these prime ministers are alumni of Eton College. There is a clear link between the strong public speaking skills gained at Eton College and the future success in life of a huge number of its alumni.
Jesse Norman,MP and former Eton student, claims that Eton is special because it realizes that "rhetoric and poetry and public speaking and performance are incredibly important to young people succeeding in life" (The Guardian, Saturday 27 April 2013) - read the full article by following the link below:
It is not an accident that the greatest speakers are the greatest speakers - they have worked on their public speaking skills for years. You can work on your public speaking skills too. MUN conferencesand declamation contestsare two great opportunities to do that.