U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump prefers woman for UN post, interviewing 5 candidates Mary Kissel expected to join State Department Scarborough predicts Trump will ‘cash out’ and not run in 2020 MORE kicked off a conservative conference of high school students on Monday by urging attendees to avoid inflammatory language in favor of demonstrating real leadership.

“Raise your hand if you’ve ever posted anything online to quote-unquote ‘own the libs,’ ” Haley asked at the High School Leadership Summit at George Washington University.

The vast majority raised their hands in response, and then erupted into spontaneous applause.

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“I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?” Haley asked. “We’ve all been guilty of it at some point or another, but this kind of speech isn’t leadership — it’s the exact opposite.”

“Real leadership is about persuasion, it’s about movement, it’s bringing people around to your point of view,” she added. “Not by shouting them down, but by showing them how it is in their best interest to see things the way you do.”

Haley, who was introduced to the audience by her son, said leadership is lacking in this country.

However, she also said those in the room Monday made her want to bet on the future.

The high school summit, presented by the conservative group Turning Point USA, is a four-day event featuring some of the most famous GOP figures in the nation, including Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBeto O'Rourke on impeachment: 'There is enough there to proceed' Rosenstein to appear for House interview next week Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue Election Countdown: Florida Senate fight resumes after hurricane | Cruz softens ObamaCare attacks | GOP worries Trump will lose suburban women | Latest Senate polls | Rep. Dave Brat gets Trump's 'total endorsement' | Dem candidates raise record B MORE

Haley used a large chunk of her speech to defend the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which she called a joke.

She also criticized countries she said agreed with the United States off-the-record but would not publicly support change on the council.

“They lack the courage to make a difference,” Haley said. “They have a voice, they just refuse to use it.”

Haley, who received a standing ovation both coming and going from her speech, posed for students' pictures for a few minutes after concluding her time.

“If I can leave you with one message today: Have the courage to stand up to the mob,” she said.