Purpose of a group discussion is greater than simply judging your knowledge. The underlying reason why a GD is conducted is to assess you as a team member. You are supposed to possess a set of group discussion skills to ace in this round.
Please go through some crucial group discussion skills below to craft your very own GD strategy accordingly.
Try to find the GD topic category that you are comfortable with. Also, follow the news regularly to stay updated about Current Affairs. If you are good at debating, factual or social topics are your forte. Bookworms (or avid readers) may have an edge over the rest in abstract and situation based topics.
If the given topic is familiar, you must start the GD. Collect your ideas systematically (preferably in points) and start speaking. If not, try to jump in as a second or 3rd speaker. In order to speak confidently in a GD, commit yourself completely to English at least a week before the round.
You have to consciously train yourself to communicate in English like a pro. Build a good command over the language that you will be discussing in. So listen to english songs, watch english movies and sitcoms, follow English news and read a newspaper daily for 15 days atleast, before your GD.
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.
If you are able to start then use a line or two to define the topic and spell out the structure.
If you manage to go second or third then paraphrase the explanation of the topic, propose a structure if missed by the first speaker and give a few a few pros and cons.
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
Once you are done with your point, listen passionately to what others are speaking. Nod if you agree. Keep looking at others and understand their facial expression.
If there are N people in a GD then you should be the N-th turn for raising your points. If you are speaking at N-1 or N-2 then you are dominating the GD which is actually a good sign. So in a group of 8 people, try to snatch the 6th-7th turn.
Once you get your chance to speak, speak slowly and with authority. Focus more on ensuring that your points are understood by people rather than becoming self-conscious or self-analyzing your speaking skills or relevance of points.
Don’t be self-conscious and keep thinking or rehearsing your points. Use this time to understand the points given by others. Use somebody’s point by rephrasing it and posting it to someone who has not engaged in the discussion so far.
Memory and recalling
Bringing an international perspective with statistics or an anecdote creates a good impression.
Write down just 4-5 words because you don’t want to risk a blank thought at your turn. It is a possibility and it has happened to me a number of times when I thought of my argument but was completely blank when my turn came.
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-up on someone else’s point, give credits to a fellow participant, etc.
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.
All the best!