The Do’s and Don’ts of MUN Etiquette
DO: Raise your placard until your arm is 75% extended and project the word “present”. DO NOT: Stand and say “[full country name] is present and voting”.
Speaking in Front of an Audience
DO: Start with “Honorable Chair and Fellow Delegates…” DO NOT: Immediately jump into your speech.
DO: Speak for about 45 to 70 seconds with concrete content.
DO NOT: Ramble for several minutes without purpose because this wastes time. Usually there is a set amount of time you may speak (ex. 2 minutes).
DO: End your speech with, “I now yield my time to the chair.”
DO NOT: Walk off; there are always questions to answer and comments to be made.
DO: Answer as many questions as possible without losing your cool. Some questions will be
intended to attack you. If you’re stumped, say you would like to discuss the subject further in caucus, and pray they forget (or honestly discuss it further in caucus).
DO NOT: Give random answers that are inaccurate or attack the asker.
Referring to Oneself
DO: refer to oneself as your country, “The delegate of the United States would like to inquire…”, “The United States believes…”
DO NOT: In committee, do not ever use first person- you are representing a country! Speak in third person. For example, “The delegate of the United States would like to inquire as to why…?”
The Little Things Matter
DO: Arrive at your committee room a little early. Utilize this time to introduce yourself (name, school, country) to some committee members, especially if they are ally countries. This will make it easier for committee members to approach you later on.
DO NOT: Sit in the back of the room, attack other delegates, or mumble when speaking.
DO: Always hold your placard high! Holding your placard high gives the impression that you are actively participating in committee.
DO NOT: Waving your placard to get the chairs’ attention is inappropriate it and makes you seem impatient. Oppositely, do not raise your placard half-way. This makes you seem unsure of your actions.
DO NOT: Fall asleep. Falling asleep is bad. Get a good night’s rest before the conference.
DO: Push in your chair during the caucus. Often committee members will have to weave in and out of aisles to get around- please do not block paths.
DO: Make eye contact and smile! Remember, you are trying to form ties and create compromises.
Making eye contact with people and smiling will be very encouraging, and committee members will be more open to working with you.
DO NOT: Nervous gestures like shifting your weight back and forth, fidgeting with your hands, playing with your hair, and so on detract from speeches. You want committee members listening to what you have to say rather than focusing on how many times you touch your hair.
DO: Use hand gestures, if you are comfortable. Hand gestures help make speechless hesitant. DO use open hand gestures (palms open, no crossing, and at waist level). This makes you seem more open and honest- qualities committee members will appreciate when deciding whom to work within committee.
General Posture Tips
DO: Stand tall! Every time you stand, run a checklist through your mind: chin up, shoulders back, straight back.
DO NOT: Slouch. Slouching is an “uninterested” stance and pushes people away. Also, do not sit into your hips too much (meaning your weight is shifted too much to one side), as it looks lazy.
DO: Apply the same checklist for standing when sitting. It is just as important to look professional when you are not in front of the committee as when you are. (Someone is always watching- make them appreciate your good habits) If it helps to sit at the edge of the chair, go ahead.
DO NOT: Sitting with your legs wide open is extremely informal and is never appropriate, especially when sitting in a chair that does not have a desk to hide your legs. Girls, cross your legs either at the thigh/knee, or cross your legs at the ankle and tuck them to one side.
General Language Tips
DO: Speak politely and with diplomacy among other committee members and chairs. They too have worked hard and deserve respect.
DO: Say thank you! Saying this shows that you are recognizing the efforts of other committee members and chairs.
DO: Speak fairly loudly when in committee session. This forces people’s attention on you- leave no room for question about what you said.
DO NOT: “Sucking up” to chairs (or judges) is inappropriate and annoying. Chairs will not appreciate the effort.
DO: Dress “smartly”. This means you look smart, and you also wear appropriate attire you will be able to function in. In MUN, we generally dress in Western Business Attire.
Men: Button-down collared shirt, tie, jacket (optional but highly recommended), belt, black dress pants, dress shoes, dark socks.
Women: Nice blouse or dress shirt, blazer jacket, skirt (must be past fingers) or dress pants, nylon stockings for skirts (optional but highly recommended), dress shoes.
DO NOT: Wearing baggy or super tight clothes gives off wrong impressions- either you’re lazy or you’re at the wrong venue. Your clothes should fit well.
DO: Wear color. For example, wear a vivid green shirt. This helps committee members, chairs, and judges identify you easily and will get you noticed (which is good).
DO NOT: Girls, reconsider super high heels. Walking a lot is common (especially at ASU), so be prepared for this whether you tough it out or you bring a spare pair of shoes. DO NOT walk around barefoot.
DO: Wear a minimal amount of accessories; don’t overdo it. Accessories will get in the way, make too much noise, or become a toy to fiddle with during conference. Girls, go for a simple earring and/or necklace.
DO: Keep hair out of your face. Boys, if you have longer hair, find a way to keep it out of your eyes (try gel or pomade). Girls, pin back bangs if they go past your eyebrows but can’t be tucked behind an ear. Also, do a simple hairstyle. While complicated hairstyles look cute, it is very distracting if it needs to be touched up every few minutes.