Cevey Consulting Speech Training


NMUN challenges those who participate as delegates in many different ways, the most obvious one being oratory. Agenda setting speeches, substantive statements, arguing for policy and asserting oneself in negotiations, bringing motions to the floor during formal session – there are numerous occasions which require public speaking. And they demand speeches both spontaneous and memorable, deferential and powerful, erudite and pithy.

Therefore, Tübingen’s NMUN delegation 2013 was greateful to attend a speech training session by Cevey Consulting’s Dr Marco Behrmann on January 26th.

This year, Dr Behrmann introduced and supervised two separate exercises, one of which was developed together with head delegates Katharina Luther and Max Döring. In order to train skills like posture, gesticulation, enunciation and general poise, every delegate was given a speech topic reminiscent of debating competitions. Forgoing any need for research, a brief statement in favour or against the topic had to be prepared within ten minutes. The performance itself was then subjected to a thorough feedback session. Not only did the feedback provide much useful information from our pcolleagues and Dr Behrmann, but the short preparation period also worked well as a small-scale substitute for NMUN where speeches may have to be given on very short notice.

After training ad-hoc public statements in this way, the second exercise took into account the more comprehensive character of substantive speeches. On the basis of scenarios arranged by our head delegates, we prepared speeches for delicate, difficult or even outright hostile situations. In the spirit of diplomacy, our goal was to argue for particular measures, bridge cultural and political gaps, solve misunderstandings, or calm the waves after an encounter gone awry. Again, there was barely time to prepare, weigh arguments and refine language. But all delegates were able to improve on their previous performances. The feedback by Dr Behrmann and our head delegates was both accurate and encouraging. It provided a useful overview of strengths to build on as well as behavioural or substantial weaknesses to work on which before NMUN in New York – where we will be even better public speakers, not least because of Cevey Consulting’s speech training.

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