Feeds:
Posts
Comments

A group discussion is essentially an arrangement wherein a group of individuals (generally applicants to professional degree courses or certain job profiles) are made to sit in a group (usually of ten to twenty) and asked to share their opinions on a certain topic of discussion and use rationale to conclude at the end. Speaking effectively in a group discussion is achieved by means of body language as well as public speaking skills. There are a number of ways to make ones performance in a group discussion effective and impressive.

In terms of body language, the following are very useful tips to carry oneself in a group discussion:-
1. Sitting with a straight back and both hands on ones knees appears formal and confident simultaneously while also making one feel more confident.
2. Making eye contact with each individual in the group creates more room for communication.
3. Nodding shows receptivity.
4. It is important to be assertive yet humble while also being oneself during a group discussion.

In terms of speech (a very important factor in a group discussion), the following points must be kept in mind:-
1. It’s great to seize the opportunity to speak first if you have an understanding of the topic and a valid point to make. If not, it is advisable to wait for another to speak and step in for value addition.
2. Facilitate contribution from others.
3. Without aggression, be assertive, without submission, be humble.
4. No one is a personal friend during a group discussion. The tone of the discussion is impersonal and cordial.
5. Avoid creating a fish market as far as possible. If you find yourself in one, break it, by raising your voice just enough to be heard and making a very heavy point (such as facts and figures to support your stand).
6. Statistics and facts are very impressive but need to be real and backed up by references in case one is questioned.
7. Don’t repeat a point, be lengthy or irrelevant. Intervene if someone else is going off on an irrelevant tangent.
8. Don’t take to making one on one conversation.
9. Be simple in your speech and conclude objectively.

In terms of mindset and behavior, one must remember:-
1. That ones skills as a team member and personality are being observed by the moderator at all times.
2. That one is mostly answerable for his/her actions during the group discussion in the personal interview which generally follows.
3. That being nervous will not help and being genuine will.
4. That leaders take a topic on its proper path.

GD aka Group Discussion makes some students weak in the knees. That is because everyone is looking in your face. You have to speak up and keep talking. Everyone is watching everything. Your diction, style of talking, fillers and facial expressions and body language are gaged.

But Charlie if you are well equipped with current social affairs, general knowledge and basic understanding and most of all confidence you will fly through the GD.

Here is what they look at when enter a group discussion:

Team player – Here they check if you can work in a team. Have patience to hear another person’s point of view.

Reasoning ability – Given a question like ‘How will inflation affect the job scenario’. One must understand the question and think of the various paradigms that can be affected and if there is a solution to it, then how will it be brought about.

Leadership – Given a start how you lead the group. Bring out the maximum potential of the other members. How you play it cool and keep calm yet resolve the given task. You should be able to give direction, co-ordinate, contribute and inspire.

Initiative – This is given a lot of importance, as you have to know when to speak and when to initiate a new topic.

Assertiveness – You have to be sure and confident of what you say. When you are assertive, it shows in your body language.

Flexibility – On one side you have to be open to what others are talking on a topic. But on the other side you cannot keep dribbling with the stand you have taken. At the onset think which side of the fence you want to sit on and then take a side of the debate and stick to it.

Listening and awareness go hand in hand – You must be alert and know what is happening around you. Listen to what others have to say so you are able to gauge the situation and use it to your benefit.

You will score maximum on your initiative that you take in a conversation. Also once you take up a topic if you keep on track then you score more points. Keeping a cool head when everyone is talking or refuting your point of view and then steering the conversation to its path and asserting your point of view will culminate to scoring more points.

GD aka Group Discussion makes some students weak in the knees. That is because everyone is looking in your face. You have to speak up and keep talking. Everyone is watching everything. Your diction, style of talking, fillers and facial expressions and body language are gaged.

But Charlie if you are well equipped with current social affairs, general knowledge and basic understanding and most of all confidence you will fly through the GD.

Here is what they look at when enter a group discussion:

Team player – Here they check if you can work in a team. Have patience to hear another person’s point of view.

Reasoning ability – Given a question like ‘How will inflation affect the job scenario’. One must understand the question and think of the various paradigms that can be affected and if there is a solution to it, then how will it be brought about.

Leadership – Given a start how you lead the group. Bring out the maximum potential of the other members. How you play it cool and keep calm yet resolve the given task. You should be able to give direction, co-ordinate, contribute and inspire.

Initiative – This is given a lot of importance, as you have to know when to speak and when to initiate a new topic.

Assertiveness – You have to be sure and confident of what you say. When you are assertive, it shows in your body language.

Flexibility – On one side you have to be open to what others are talking on a topic. But on the other side you cannot keep dribbling with the stand you have taken. At the onset think which side of the fence you want to sit on and then take a side of the debate and stick to it.

Listening and awareness go hand in hand – You must be alert and know what is happening around you. Listen to what others have to say so you are able to gauge the situation and use it to your benefit.

You will score maximum on your initiative that you take in a conversation. Also once you take up a topic if you keep on track then you score more points. Keeping a cool head when everyone is talking or refuting your point of view and then steering the conversation to its path and asserting your point of view will culminate to scoring more points.

Here are few guidelines for you to start your preparation for IIM Abstract GD topics:

1) The first thing is to pick a list of 5 Abstract GD Topics that come across as total puzzles to you. Get a list of Abstract GD topics. For example:

– A drop is mightier in the ocean

– Water burns more than fire

– The Yellow canary

– Red or Black

– Golden shackles are better than iron ones

Make sure that you pick topics that completely paralyse you ability to get started. This is important because getting over the fear now is better than when you are in the actual Group Discussion

2) Now for each IIM Abstract GD topic, make 10 points on each topic. each of the 2 points should be related to:

– 2 on Economics

– 2 on Sports

– 2 on Politics

– 2 on Environment

– 2 on Entertainment/Humor/Movies

Once you realise that you can say anything on these Abstract GD topics by dividing them into these separate sub sections then you can be truly creative and let go of the fear of what to say.

3) Time your self: Give your self only 2 minutes to list the 10 subsections of each topics. Write only
a single word to describe what you wish to say, and then elaborate the point verbally by practicing in
front of a mirror. The more you practice keeping only a written point to start and then practice verbally the remaining viewpoint will hardwire the words into your memory. Make sure that you keep your viewpoints limited to 3 minutes of speaking time so that you are able to mkae 10 points in the shortest time possible.

Public speaking is an art, be it on the stage or delivering a speech or presenting a Seminar to a small or big audience. The speaker should bear few points on mind.

1.Audience: Do not use flowery language nor very simple language. Feel the pulse of the audience and then deliver the speech. Let the speech not be bouncer to the audience.

2.Voice: Voice plays a vital role in presentation. The audience are smart enough to find out if the speaker is confident or not. So let the audience not know even if you are nervous.

3.Poise and Posture: Dressing style always reflects what the speaker\’s personality. Be poised in appearance; no over makeup or too decorative with heavy jewellery or not very informal style but be simple but elegant. Let the posture not be with bent shoulders but with head held high and stomach tucked in and chest out. Never stand in a tand at ease position nor your hands in the pockets, never move to and fro or side ways as a pendulum. If there is a rostrum in front of you then don\’t lean on it nor rock with it.

4.Language: Let the language be with good vocabulary and interesting points. Never use high vocab which doesn’t suit the scenario. Do not ask any questions to the audience and in case you ask do not wait for answers.

5.Humour:There is nothing wrong in using humour and making the audience have a lighter moment. This has to be used only if you are comfortable and can make it sound humorous otherwise the humour goes for a toss and you will start regretting for using it and the confidence level just goes down which would be difficult to bring it up again in the next few seconds. So don’t experiment.

6.Eye contact: Do not look away form the audience nor look piercing into the eyes of the audience. Let the eyes travel from one end of the room to the other end.Do not look at the roof, outside the window nor at any one person. This shows that you are avoiding the rest of the audience which might distract the others.

7.Time: Maintaining of the time is very important and never drag the topic nor repeat the points. If any point is forgotten never bring it back just forget it once for all.

8.Conclusion: The audience should know that the speaker is about to conclude his/her speech. This can be done through the words like …

Asking questions and joining in discussions are important skills. If you find it difficult to speak or ask questions in tutorials, try the following strategies.

Observe

Attend as many seminars and tutorials as possible and notice what other students do. Ask yourself:

a)How do other students make critical comments?

b)How do they ask questions?

c)How do they disagree with or support arguments?

d)What special phrases do they use to show politeness even when they are voicing disagreement?

e)How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a point?

Practice

Start practicing your discussion skills in an informal setting or with a small group. Start with asking questions of fellow students. Ask them about the course material. Ask for their opinions. Ask for information or ask for help.

Participate

Take every opportunity to take part in social/informal discussions as well as more structured/formal discussion. Start by making small contributions to tutorial discussions; prepare a question to ask, or agree with another speaker’s remarks.

Discussion Etiquette (or minding your manners)

Do

a)Speak pleasantly and politely to the group.

b)Respect the contribution of every speaker.

c)Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely.

d)Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?

e)Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don’t introduce irrelevant information.

f)Be aware of your body language when you are speaking.

g)Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.

Don’t

a)Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.

b)Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.

c)Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive.

d)Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute.

e)Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much.

f)Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.

Leading a Discussion

You may be in a seminar group that requires you to lead a group discussion, or lead a discussion after an oral presentation. You can demonstrate leadership by:

a)introducing yourself and the members of the group

b)stating the purpose of the discussion

c)inviting quiet group members to speak

d)being objective

e)summarizing the discussion

f)Chairing a Group Discussion

When chairing a discussion group you must communicate in a positive way to assist the speakers in accomplishing their objective. There are at least four leadership skills you can use to influence other people positively and help your group achieve its purpose. These skills include:

1)introducing the topic and purpose of the discussion,

2)making sure all members have approximately the same time, (i.e. no one dominates the discussion by taking too much time)

3)thanking group members for their contribution

4)being objective in summarizing the group’s discussion and achievements


1) It helps you to understand a subject more deeply.

2) It improves your ability to think critically.

3) It helps in solving a particular problem.

4) It helps the group to make a particular decision.

5) It gives you the chance to hear other students’ ideas.

6) It improves your listening skills.

7) It increases your confidence in speaking.

8) It can change your attitudes