[BASIC series] Tips for the Opening Speech

Do you have stage fright? Find it difficult to make an impressive entrance to the Conference? Wait no more for MUN@TIU’s Note on How to Impress People and Win Heart...I mean, How to Make an Opening Speech.

  • I am told we have to prepare an opening speech in MUN Conference. What is it about?

Every delegate attending an MUN conference has to do an opening speech in order to announce their country stance and the issues they want to discuss at the conference. The duration of the speech depends on the conference itself. The first impression can be very important and if done well can gain you many advantages later on.

  • I am terrible at public speaking!! What should I do?

Don’t worry, this post is to help you get the first idea of how to deliver an opening speech for MUN conferences. The opening speech can be referred to as the shortened and more concise version of the position paper. Here are some basic steps to make an opening speech. Please understand these are just personal experience and should only be viewed as references.

  1. Use a hook for your opening: At the beginning of your speech, use a hook to capture the attention of the audience. Your hook could be quotes, questions, facts, statistics, or other things that raise the common interest among other member states.

  2. Pay in mind what is crucial: From your research, pick out the most important points that you want to be discussed at the conference. It could be your country’ policies, local and regional problems, or issues that you want to be heard and focused. Since your time is limited, make sure to be concise and straightforward.

  3. Call to action: Now that people have been told about your stance, your issues, end your speech with a call to action. Leave an ending remark that you are here to cooperate and to find solutions and that you respect other member states as well as welcome their suggestions.

  • Ok, now I know how to prepare my speech. What should I do next?

Print out your speech or use your own handwriting if it makes you remember easier. Highlight the main points so that they would stand out and your eyes can track them easily. Pay attention to the tone, pace, body gestures and facial expression. You can control these by practicing in front of a mirror or an audience such as family members or friends. Recording yourself is also an easy and effective way in managing your time and volume.In many conferences, the chair will tap the gavel lightly to signal how many time you have left. You can use the gavel sound to know how fast your speech is going and adjust accordingly.

It takes efforts to be good at public speaking. If you are a beginner, it is totally okay to make mistakes during the first speeches. Try to be confident and let your voice be heard.