The opening speech will be delivered at the beginning of the first committee session, and it serves to clarify the position of each delegation to the other delegates in the committee. Still, it's important to remember that this should not be you reading out your entire position paper – an opening speech is there to impress, to establish yourself as a leader and a good orator, which is something all committees love and need.
Bellow are some points to consider when writing the speech.
1. Word limit and time
Ideally, a good opening speech should last from 45 seconds to 1 minute. Many people ask how many words is a good guideline for a one minute speech: if you are talking at the proper, slow pace – 150 words maximum is a good idea. It’s important to practice your speech before you deliver your speech, but you can bet that 150 words for one minute is a good idea. When trying to get people to listen, depth is more important than breadth.
2. Focus on one topic only
We all don’t prepare a resolution for each and every topic to be debated at a committee. Focus on the issue that matters to your member nation the most and how that relates to the topics to be debated at the conference. Remember, it’s about impact and depth, not breadth.
Choose a font that you are most comfortable with, preferably Times New Roman or Arial, and make it 16 size font, justified, and 1.5 spaced. This could apply to other speeches you make as well. If you need to do so, bold, underline, or make notes after printing to make sure you know which words to emphasize or be careful in pronouncing. This format allows for you to be able to read everything clearly in the confusion of nervousness or unexpected events.
5. Make it interesting
It’s always nice to hear a speech that does not start with “Good afternoon fellow delegates, esteemed Chairs, and distinguished guests.” Be creative with your entry by introducing the topic straight out.
Example: December 26th, 2004 is a day every expert in this room will never forget. 283,000 people were killed when an 9.1 magnitude earthquake caused one of the largest tsunamis in human history.
*By introducing the issue with a “slammer,” you will gain everyone’s attention.
Here you can find a sample of an opening speech, delivered by a delegation of Norway.
Honorable chairs and fellow delegates:
The delegation of Norway believes that reducing child mortality is crucial to our United Nations assembly. This delegate feels that the problem of children dying before the age of five is one that requires immediate attention because the death of the future generations would be detrimental to the development of a society.
Under Article 6 in The Convention on the Rights of the Child by UNICEF, children have the right to live and governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily, therefore this delegate believes that this United Nations assembly should work together in order to abide to this article.
Lack of basic health equipment, hygiene and resources have been the main contributors to higher child mortality rates, higher maternal mortality rates and serious illnesses. Being a more economically developed country, Norway has contributed funds towards rectifying this problem and would invite other MEDC’s to do the same.
Additionally, this delegate strongly encourages the implementation of measures to halt the spread of HIV, measures to reduce maternal mortality rates and measures to reduce the incidence of mosquito borne disease.
This delegates hopes for a fruitful and constructive debate in order to solve the issues at hand today.