We all love to discuss in groups. Whether over a cup of coffee or in the college canteen, discussions play an important role in taking conversations forward. The topics are innumerable, typically ranging from cricket to football to politics. But when group discussions are in the picture, the crux changes, the tables turn. You can no more sit on a table and present opinions randomly without maintaining a certain decorum. In contrast to what random discussions are, group discussions are specific and are built with rules as foundation blocks.
With cut-throat competition governing placements in most colleges, recruiters use group discussion as a tool to shortlist students. Group discussions not only judge students on the basis of their intellect but also on their personality. You’re often handed a topic and given a few minutes to think about it. Views, then, need to be presented in front of the moderator who keeps an account of who speaks what. To ace the round of group discussion, it often helps to keep a few things in mind.
The pointers below will give you an insight into what exactly you need to impress the recruiter.
1. The subject matter
It is essential to have knowledge about the topic that’s being discussed. If you lack the requisite understanding, you’ll not be able to present your views on the same. General knowledge is the key. The time duration given before the beginning of GD must be utilized to list down the relevant points. Make sure that you do not deviate from the topic. Try quoting statistics if possible. Read newspapers and magazines to stay up to date.
2. The group leader
Being the one to take initiative and starting the discussion, definitely gives you brownie points. But the pertinence of the points you present counts too. Even if you start late, your points must leave an impact on the members of the group and the moderator. Try heading the group and encouraging members to give opinions on the topic. Also, on the contrary, you are advised to not get aggressive.
3. The listener
Apart from the one to express strong points and opinions, you must be a good listener too. Being the only one speaking wouldn’t add value to your points. Give others a chance to express their views. Acknowledge their points by nodding your head to let the person know that you’re attentive. Listening helps you add fresh points to the discussion.
4. Communication skills
In order to present your views well, you must be fluent in English. Having command over the language with a decent vocabulary is the key. “Practice helps make a man perfect” plays a vital role here. Rehearse well, be it in front of the mirror or amongst your friends. Speaking the right language with appropriate points is the basic requirement of the group discussion. You’re being judged on these grounds. Play well!
5. Body gestures
Apart from the context and language, body gestures are another important tool. You must sit straight during the entire group discussion and not lean back on the chair. Do not knock the table with your fingers or your pen. Avoid getting distracted. Moving constantly, keeping a skeptical expression or changing your posture frequently are traits of a negative personality. These must be kept in check and should, at all costs, be avoided.
6. The debate: For or Against?
Similar to debates, group discussions often are conducted on topics which have two sides like a coin. You need to choose a side and then speak on those grounds. You shouldn’t switch your side during the course of the discussion. Switching sides gives a negative impression and an idea that you aren’t opinionated enough to stick with your thoughts.
These tips and tricks definitely come in handy during your preparation. Group discussions can be tricky, especially if you’re clueless about the topic given to you. Don’t get nervous. Confidence reflects positivity. Preparing in advance for them can help you excel this round and shift the ball in your court.
Put on a smile and get, set, go! You’re meant to fly high.