Tips for success in group discussions
. You should have subject knowledge and be well aware of the latest happenings around you, not just in India but around the world as well. To be in a better position, make sure that you have in-depth knowledge on the subject. 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 to whichever direction you want to. If you can memorize some relevant data, it will be an added advantage.
Make Sure you Read Widely
. Being an avid reader will help you in group discussions. Last minute preparations you are strictly a no no, while you are preparing for group discussions. You should read over a period of time. Reading not only adds to your knowledge database, but enhances your vocabulary skills as well. Plus reading over a period of time, helps in your understanding of a particular subject/ topic better.
Choose Magazines that are Rich in Content
. Always opt for magazines that are content rich and not just full of advertisements. Often magazines have columns which are promoting a particular institute etc. Avoid such magazines, do some research and buy the best that will be beneficial for you in the long run.
Be Aware of Topics that are Repeated
. Often, there are topics which re-appear with minute changes and minor variations. Be aware of such topics well in advance so that you have ample time to prepare for the same. For example the issues of terrorism, gender inequality, poverty, Ayodhya conflict, liberalization and privatization, reservations in educational institutions etc often appear as GD topics. Make sure you know these topics well and can come up with some unique, insightful points along with dates, stating facts.
Work on your Communication Skills
. You should be well versed in your communication skills. You should have a good vocabulary and a decent command over English. Much before your actual group discussion, rehearse well. You can sit with a group of friends and choose a topic and indulge in a friendly banter. Not only will this increase your knowledge, you will be a better speaker by the time it is time for your GD.
Listen to the Topic Given During GD Carefully
. Listen to the topic carefully and understand it... Be alert and vigilant. Sometimes, the topic may be really simple but the manner in which it is presented to you, can be baffling. The first thing that you should do after hearing the topic is by structuring it on the sheet that is given to you to make notes. Make a rough sketch of the points that you would like to speak aloud. You will be at an advantage if you open the discussion, but then beware of what you speak. Deviating from the main topic, or passing strong statements like ?I agree/ or disagree ?? should be avoided. Your strategy should be to test the waters and make a generic statement relevant to the topic. If you can, back it up by relevant data.
Try and Maintain a Balance in your Tone
. Besides what you are saying, remember that the panelists are observing your body language as well. If you do not agree with the other student?s point of view, do not raise your tone in objection. Listen to his point of view and instead of dismissing it upfront, try and draw a common ground.
Listening Skills are Essential
. Carefully listen to what others have to say. Just speaking throughout the discussion doesn?t make you smart, you should also give others a chance to speak. Try and listen to him/her, respect their view point too. If the speaker is making an eye-contact with you remember to acknowledge him by saying ?yes, you agree? or just 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.
Body Gestures are very Important
. 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 on to the chair or knocking the table with pen or your fingers. Also, do not get distracted easily. For example, if the door in room you are sitting in opens, do not look back to see who it is , this will show how distracted you are.
Be the first and also the Last to Speak
. As mentioned earlier, initiating a GD is an advantage. Closing it too also adds brownie points. If you can grab the opportunity to close the discussion, then you should summarize it. If the group has not reached a conclusion try concluding it .
Speak politely and pleasantly
. As you speak make sure that you do not speak at the top of your voice. You should be audible and clear. Remember that you are participating in a discussion which is different from a speech given out by the leaders in their rallies. Even if you disagree with the other?s point of view, disagree politely. Use phrases like, I would like to disagree a bit here, I am sorry but I think I have a slightly different point of view here.
Acquire and apply knowledge
. Stay attentive to the ideas put forward by other group members and keep writing the important points discussed during the GD As you get a chance to speak, put forward your views about the topic. You can also agree or disagree with other?s ideas, based on your knowledge about the subject.
Agree with the right
. Don?t take a stand on either extreme when the discussion begins. It might happen that you get convinced by other?s argument and want to change your stand. Respect other?s opinion as well and agree with what is right, even if you initially had a different opinion.
. Maintain your confidence as you speak. Establish eye contact with other members of the group and do not let your voice tremble.
Initiate the GD
. Initiating the GD is a big plus. But keep in mind ? Initiate the group discussion only when you understood the GD topic clearly and have some topic knowledge. Speaking without proper subject knowledge is bad impression.
Allow others to speak
. Do not interrupt anyone in-between while speaking. Even if you don?t agree with his/her thoughts do not snatch their chance to speak. Instead make some notes and clear the points when it?s your turn.
. Speak politely and clearly. Use simple and understandable words while speaking. Don?t be too aggressive if you are disagreeing with someone. Express your feelings calmly and politely.
Make sure to bring the discussion on track
. If by any means group is distracting from the topic or goal then simply take initiative to bring the discussion on the track. Make all group members aware that you all need to come to some conclusion at the end of the discussion. So stick to the topic.
. Be confident. Do not try to dominate anyone. Keep positive body language. Show interest in discussion.
. Do not speak just to increase your speaking time. Don?t worry even if you speak less. Your thoughts should be sensible and relevant instead of irrelevant speech.
Listen carefully to others
. Speak less and listen more! Pay attention while others are speaking. This will make coherent discussion and you will get involved in the group positively. You will surely make people agree with you.
. Do not take it casually. No fancy and funny dressing. You should be comfortable while speaking in group. Positive gesture and body language will make your work easy.
Try to take the initiative
. Don?t wait for the others to start the discussion. Always volunteer yourself and start the discussions in an extremely confident manner. Introduce yourself and your team members and then start with the topic but one thing to remember here is that one must initiate the Group Discussion only when he or she is well versed with the topic. Don?t take the risk if you yourself are not very clear about your thoughts.
Never be rigid in group discussions
. Always keep in mind that the other person is also as learned as you. Always listen to what he is saying and then only respond. Be a good and a patient listener. Don?t just simply draw conclusions as there is always a room for discussions. Debate logically and sensibly and try to take everyone along with you.
Be alert always
. A participant usually gets around 15 minutes to think about the topic. You need to think fast and cover as much as you can. Always take care of your words. The content has to be sensible, crisp and well supported with examples or real life situations. Don?t adopt a laidback attitude or yawn in between group discussions.
Take care of your dressing as well
. Don?t wear flashy clothes while going for a group discussion or interview. Female candidates should also avoid cakey makeup or flaunt heavy jewellery. The clattering sounds of bangles sometimes act as a disturbing element in formal discussions. Be in professional attire and avoid loud colours.
Be assertive not aggressive
. It is a myth that successful managers are aggressive. They are not aggressive, rather they are assertive. There is a fine dividing line between assertiveness and aggressiveness. An assertive person is someone who puts forward his point hand, tries to dominate others. He raises his voice, he does not listen, and he does not seek to understand other people's points of view. He gets emotionally involved in his arguments. He takes it as a personal affront if others disagree with him. He ends up offending others. So do not be aggressive in your next GD. Instead, be assertive.
Quality of content
. More important than the amount of time you speak for, is the quality of what you have said and the impact that it has had on the group. You do not have to dominate the GD by speaking for a long period of time. You have to influence a group by providing it direction, by highlighting the crucial issues and putting forth persuasive and cogent arguments. There is no formula to calculate the right duration of participation in a GD. In a 15-minute GD in which there are 12 participants, if you are able to speak for two minutes spread across four or five occasions, it should be enough.
Generate supportive data
. Use facts and illustrations in the Group Discussion (GD) to add value. However, be very sure of the validity of any statistic you quote. If you mention a wrong figure, someone else in the group could point out the mistake. If that doesn't happen, the evaluators might notice the mistake. A fact or a statistic cannot be an argument in itself. It can only support a point you are making. So do not quote a fact and let it land follow it up with some sort of inference or conclusion that can be drawn from it.
Enter by increasing volume
. The way adopted by most to enter a loud GD is to increase their volume. Though a method that comes almost naturally, and one is prone to shouting in such an environment, this may contribute to the melee itself. It is in your best interest that you combine this method with other mentioned in this section so that you are able to make an impact. Also, make sure that even though with a raised voice, it does not pass the impression that you are shouting.
Enter the lows
. GDs are peculiar in the sense that move like a wave, and have their highs and lows. As an educated GD participant, you are advised to note these patterns, and whenever you find that the noise levels have reduced, that is your moment to enter the GDs. But do remember, at times, you would never get such a chance , and if in the first few minutes of the GD, you observe that there are no lows, you would be left with no choice but to barge your way in .
Interjecting in a discussion with a question
. An amazing way to enter a group discussion is to ask a question from other participants. Questions are great attention grabbers, and they attract the attention of the group towards you, providing you a vital chance to jump in the discussion and provide your inputs. At this juncture, you could ask follow up questions or give your thoughts on the question that you raised.
Enter after a person has made his point
. It is vital for you to understand that interjections need to be made at the right moment. For example, someone has just started with his points and you try to cut him short. Majority of the times, you would be hard-pressed to leave an impact and it is rare that the other person would give you a chance to cut him short before he completes his points. On the other hand, is you allow the other person to make some of his points, and then enter the discussion by interrupting him, there are greater chances for your success.
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Rules to play Kickball
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Benefits of Plum
Prunes Fiber for Regularity Lower Cholesterol and Intestinal Protection
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. This town in Russia is closed by the government and is believed to house employees working on Mount Yamantaw, the location of what NATO suspects to be a large nuclear facility.
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