GD Tips

Group discussion is an important activity in academic, business and administrative spheres. It is a systematic and purposeful interactive oral process. Here the exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings take place through oral communication. The exchange of ideas takes place in a systematic and structured way. The participants sit facing each other almost in a semi-circle and express their views on the given topic/issue/problem.Some steps are there to make your GD good.
  • Subject Knowledge: Participants must possess a thorough understanding of the topic on which they are supposed to speak. You must prepare yourself to talk on a wide range of subjects. Be abreast of the current events, national and international affairs, burning social and economical topics, scientific and environmental issues, key newspapers’ controversial topics and any experience that may be expected of an educated person. As a member of the group, you are expected to contribute substantially to the discussion. The originality of your ideas, your knowledge and initiative and your approach to the topic or case contribute to your success in the group discussion. The best way to equip yourself is to read daily newspapers, good magazines, national and international journals and also watch new bulletins and informative programmes on the television. Internet is the greatest boon which provides you with everything you are looking for. The World Wide Web is a vast database of current authentic materials that present information in multimedia form and reacts instantly to a user’s input. The greater your knowledge of the subject, the more enthusiastic and confident you will be during the discussion. Once you have understood the topic or issue, you should be able to generate ideas as well as organize them so that you present it well. You will have the ability to analyze facts or information in a systematic way. A person putting forward new ideas that may work will be accepted as the natural leader of the group. The panel will observe the ideas put forward,their originality, the depth of analysis and their relevance to the topic.
  • Oral Communication Skills: If subject knowledge is important, communication skills is more important as without expression, the knowledge is of no use. As the exchange of ideas in a group discussion takes place through speech, one of the pre-requisites of success in a GD is the ability to speak confidently and convincingly. Good communication skills include active listening, clarity of though and expression, apt language and proper non verbal clues.
  • Listening Skills: One of the weaknesses of most human beings is that we love to listen to our own voice rather than listen to others. Listening is as important as speaking in a GD, unless you listen, you cannot contribute to the stated purpose of communication. It is extremely important to listen very carefully, only then you will be able to pick up the thread of discussion and continue. Only active participation as a listener in a group makes a person a good leader. A leader is identified by the panel.
  • Clarity of thought and expression: Clarity is the art of making yourself clear to the audience. Only when your expressions are clear, you can convince your team and the panel. More than words, it is the tone in which they are spoken that conveys the message. You should not be too loud or too soft. A lively and cheerful voice with appropriate modulations will attract the audience. Proper articulation of words, achieved through phonetic accuracy is very essential slang, and artificial accents are to be avoided.
  • Apt Language: The flow of language must be smooth. Use simple language and avoid long winding sentences. Appropriateness of language demands that there should be no errors of grammar. Do not use unfamiliar phrases and flowery language. Be precise. Be polite and courteous.
  • Proper non verbal clues: Non verbal clues include eye contact, body movements, gestures and facial expressions. The panel very keenly watches the non verbal behavior of the team. They generally evaluate the body language cues of the team to determine personality factors such as nervousness, co-operation, frustration, weakness, insecurity, self confidence, defensiveness, etc. A candidate who appears professional is more likely to be noticed by the panel. A confident posture, appropriate facial expressions and meaningful eye contact with the team will create a good expression.
  • Team behavior: Your group behavior is reflected in your ability to interact with the other members of the group. You must be mature enough to not lose your temper even if you are proved wrong. You must be patient and balanced. Your success in a GD depends on how well you play the role of initiator, information seeker, information giver, procedure facilitator, opinion seeker, opinion giver, clarifier, summarizer, social-supporter, tension reliever, compromiser, attacker, humorist and dominator. The selection panel notes the differences in the amount of participation of the members. They observe the silent spectators, the ever dominating but not contributing much, member who participates actively exhibiting his knowledge and the moderate ones. Your ability lies in analyzing the problem well and making others to endorse your view. Finally while appreciating others point of view, you should effectively present yours without contradicting other’s opinions. Your ability in convincing the team is your success