GD Strategies

A group discussion can be categorically divided into three different phases:

i. Initiation/ Introduction

ii. Body of the group discussion

iii. Summarisation/ Conclusion

GD (Group Discussion) Initiation Techniques

Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy.

When you initiate a GD, you not only grab the opportunity to speak, you also grab the attention of the examiner and your fellow candidates.In most GD’s the opening speaker is the person who is likely to get the maximum uninterrupted airtime. The reason is simple – at the start most other participants in the GD are still trying to understand the basic issues in the topic, or are too nervous to speak and are waiting for someone else to start.

Therefore the evaluators get the best chance to observe the opening speaker. Now this is a double edged sword. If the opening speaker talks sense naturally he will get credit because he opened and took the group in the right direction. If on the other hand the first speaker doesn’t have too much sense to say, he will attract the undivided attention of the evaluators to his shortcomings. He will be marked as a person who speaks without thinking merely for the sake of speaking. As someone who leads the group in the wrong direction and does not make a positive contribution to the group.

If you can make a favourable first impression with your content and communication skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through the discussion. But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and figures, the damage might be irreparable.

If you initiate a GD impeccably but don’t speak much after that, it gives the impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or getting those initial kitty of points earmarked for an initiator!

If you feel that the topic of discussion is simple and your cup of tea you can seize the opportunity to initiative the discussion. You will get the maximum uninterrupted airtime and the evaluators usually observe the first speaker with great interest and attention and you will also get the opportunity of taking the group in the right direction.

GD (Group Discussion) Summarisation Techniques

Most GDs do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group decides in favour or against the topic.

But every GD is summarised. You can summarise what the group has discussed in the GD in a nutshell.

Keep the following points in mind while summarising a discussion:

* Avoid raising new points.
* Avoid stating only your viewpoint.
* Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD.
* Keep it brief and concise.
* It must incorporate all the important points that came out during the GD.
* If the examiner asks you to summarise a GD, it means the GD has come to an end. Do not add anything once the GD has been summarised.

Group Discussion Strategies
You should have a complete grasp of the subject knowledge and be adept in the art of positive argument and also be a persuasive communicator. Secondly, you should attempt to resolve the Contradiction, paving the way for an effective consensus and thus carry the participants with you. Above all, your contribution should be meaningful. It is the quality or relevant talk that matters and not the frequent interruptions and long winding and loud talk.

It is important for you to make sure the group is stimulated. One of the things you will want to focus on is choosing the right people to participate in the discussion. In most cases, this will be the task of the moderator.

If you assume the de facto leadership of the group, you may meet with stiff resistance from other members. Hence you have to be extremely careful and assess your support in the group and then take up the role of a leader.

Suppose, as an opening speaker, you don’t speak sensibly, you will get the undivided attention of the evaluators to your flaws and pitfalls. Hence speaking first. is fraught with high-risk and high-gain consequences. Finally, your grade depends not only on your verbal communication but nonverbal skills as well. Your body language like expressions, eye contact and movement of your hand is sure to fetch a favourable score.

It is also important to make sure you never judge people based on their appearance. This is a mistake that can be made by the leader as well as the other members. Often, the appearance of a person will not have an effect on their ability to contribute to the discussion. In addition to appearance, an emphasis should also not be placed on the educational background of the participants. Just because a member does not have advanced degrees is not a sign that they are not valuable. Obviously, the ideal group discussion will be composed of people who are educated and attractive. However, fantasy and reality are two different things, and these attributes are not crucially relevant in a group discussion.

Everything should be organized and prepared. A lack of organization will convey a bad message to the other members, and this is something you will want to avoid. If the members of the group need to be organized for the discussion, it is important for you to let them know this beforehand. If you don’t communicate with them effectively, it can cause a number of problems.

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