The other point of Model UN conferences is to win awards. That is why there’s a subculture. Who is going to win the award?
You have to be within the first three-five speakers on the list!!! Right at the beginning. You’ll notice the people who do this are really good speakers, and they are especially great extemp speakers. When you are in the first five, there’s a high likelihood you will end up being a group leader. (And therefore winning the highly contested and coveted award.) People indirectly fight for this spot. (Who can raise their hand faster?) Then, in the un-mod caucuses, these people are well-researched and they can comprehend a lot of dense material at the speed of normal, surface thought, and talk at the speed of light.
And then back to speaking–I said they’re great extemporaneous speakers–they seize every chance to speak that they can. THEY NEVER STOP TALKING!!! They will find a refutation to make on something from every other person who might have made a speech before them–then subtly highlight the “flawlessness and comprehensiveness” of their own position/working paper/draft res/even ideas!!! Therefore, the chairs tend to notice these people. (And the chairs give out awards.)
That being said, these people are good at making sure work gets done. They know their country policy like the back of their hand. They have an excellent grasp of inter-country relationships and the most effective/persuasive ways to facilitate dialogue between nations with which relationships are desired.
They “know their stuff”. And it is reflected.
Part of me is in awe that they can process such a huge quantity of deep information at such a high rate.
The other part of me wishes they would all stop talking long enough for me to understand the content of what has been actually said.