Everything in Moderation

Training begins for NAMUN leaders

“Would you rather eat grass or garbage?” was one of the questions asked to prompt moderators in a public speaking exercise at an October 28 training session. The goal? To be able to speak confidently on an assigned subject for one minute without stopping.

Each week, 2015's North American Model United Nations (NAMUN) moderators convene at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education for their training sessions to learn the rules of procedure of NAMUN and gain experience commanding a room. After going through the basic steps of how to begin a committee session, Directors of Procedures and Training Wyatt Shorter and Adriana Workewych explained to the moderators how the Primary Speakers List (PSL) works. Moderators are responsible for ensuring the PSL does not exhaust and that no country to appears twice in a row on the list. Moderators must always remember to use a formal tone while moderating and to make sure delegates are using the proper formalities when addressing their respective committee’s dais. The moderator and the delegates must always refer to themselves in the third person – “we” and “I” cannot be used when addressing committees.

Public speaking skills were strongly emphasized at this training session. Shorter told the assembled moderators that they must be able to speak fluidly and clearly. A significant part of the moderator’s job is to keep control of the committee and the committee room – speaking confidently is key to maintaining authority. To assist the moderators in practicing their public speaking skills, Shorter and Workewych ran a public speaking exercise where the moderators had to speak about a random assigned topic for one minute without stopping. Other than the garbage vs. grass debate, other sushi and superpowers were among the other topics covered. During this exercise, NAMUN’s moderators demonstrated excellent public speaking abilities. Rounding out the training session was a short question and answer period where the moderators could get clarification on any lingering questions.