Group Discussion Tips
Tips and Tricks to Excel in a Group Discussion
Organizations conduct group discussions after the written test so as to test the interactive skills of the candidates and how good they are at interacting with other people. Group discussion also tells about how candidates behave, participate and contribute in a group.
What is Group Discussion?
Group discussion may be defined as – a form of a systematic and purposeful oral process characterized by the formal and structured exchange of views on a particular topic, issue, problem or situation for developing information and understanding essential for decision making or problem-solving.
A group of participants are given a topic and are made to speak on it for a particular time. Thereafter, based on several skills such as communication skills, knowledge of the topic, ability to perform in a team, etc., the candidates are analyzed.
A group discussion among students is being organized to see and evaluate their thinking skills, listening abilities and how they are communicating their thoughts. One should learn to control the conversation through listening attentively and then having the perseverance to mold it towards his/her own direction.
The purpose of a discussion is to help each group member explore and discover the personal meanings of a text through interaction with other people. Much of our everyday talk is made up of descriptions in which we seek in one way or another to convey ideas to other people.
The components of a GD are leadership, knowledge, communication skills, and personality manifestation. Leadership traits include initiative, decision-making, planning, and vision. Knowledge implies thorough subject knowledge, keeping abreast of current affairs and technical advancements.
Things to DO.
- Be a Leader
Leadership skill is the very first requisite of any group discussion; you must have the quality to lead the whole group. In GD no one is going to make you a leader you yourself will have to prove your leadership skills.
- Rich Content with good subject knowledge
Having good subject knowledge and rich content is the first and foremost GD tip to enter the Group Discussion. Subject knowledge is a pre-requisite while you are preparing for a group discussion because you will then have the power to steer the conversation in whichever direction you want to. If you can memorize some relevant data, it will be an added advantage.
- Be relevant
When you speak you should speak to the point without any ambiguity of thought. Express your ideas at length. If you simply follow the other speaker or his ideas, remember your elimination is imminent. Wherever possible, emphasize your point with facts and figures.
- Be a good Listener
Learn to be a good listener. Listening Skills are Essential for the GD round, so carefully listen to what others have to say. If the speaker is making an eye-contact with you remember to acknowledge him by nodding your head, so that the speaker is aware that his listeners are listening to him and paying full attention. This will also show that you are vigilant and are an active participant in the discussion. Unless you listen well, it will not be possible for you to add value to your content and communication.
- Improve your Communication Skills
You may have good and rich content with a lot of ideas but if you are not able to communicate well with your thoughts and opinions, all is useless.
- Body Language
Body gestures and postures are a Very important tool for Group Discussion. The panelists observe the way you sit and react in the course of the discussion. Body gestures are very important because your body language says a lot about you. In a GD, sit straight; avoid leaning back onto the chair or knocking the table with a pen or your fingers. Also, do not get distracted easily. Nervous body movements, folding your hands across your chest, having skeptical expression, constantly moving, evading eye movements are the indicators of a negative personality and should be avoided at all costs.
- Time Management
In the time given before the start of GD, define the topic, write 2-3 pros and cons and give a 3 point structure to the discussion. The structure is relevant typically for current affairs and social/factual topics. So frame just 3-4 points for a turn and try to finish those points in time.
People speaking afterward should either try to build upon the points given by others or try to bring in a new dimension to the discussion. In a socially inclined topic, pitch every angle of the argument and take a middle path. Bring out different views and excerpts from the speeches/articles for a topic of current affairs. And for situation-based topics, try to have a few guidelines and follow them to carry forward the discussion.
The interviewer tests you on several parameters (especially your ability to visualize, articulate and conceptualize), not just on your points. So check that you are covering all the parameters. Give your ideas a structure, listen, bring the group back if they digress, give the topic a new dimension, build upon someone else’s point, give credits to a fellow participant, etc.
Things not to DO.
- Don’t Get Aggressive.
It is expected during the Group Discussion that you are firm on your ideas and are audible enough to make an impact on the group. But being aggressive, shouting and not allowing others in the group to speak, is not appreciated. So be careful and don’t be a bully.
- Never copy full contents from others.
If you don’t have an idea about the said topic of gd don’t just copy and paste, try to get an idea and change language then deliver the content.
- Don’t Crisscross on your Ideas
Don’t crisscross your ideas. The topics given in Group Discussion are debatable, you might like to speak for or against the topic and while speaking don’t forget that you may be crossing your own lines. It gives a bad impact and you are judged as a person who has no stand for his own thought.
- Don’t be a part of the fish market
As a team player, your ability to lead and play in a team is measured in the GD. During the Group Discussion, there are many instances where you will find everyone is saying something and no one is heard. It is better to be quiet for a while and then after gathering your thoughts, raise your voice initially and make your point
That’s it. Get in a group of 6-8 and try out these pointers to play it cool. Acquire all the above-mentioned Group Discussion Skills and ace your next GD round like a breeze.