Group Discussions - General Concepts, Group Discussion Tips, Do's and Don'ts of Group Discussion, General GD Topics - WAY2IT

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Group Discussions - General Concepts, Group Discussion Tips, Do's and Don'ts of Group Discussion, General GD Topics

General Concepts :

1) What is the normal duration of a Group Discussions ?
A Group Discussion is generally of 15-20 minutes duration.

2) How many panel members are there to evaluate ?
There are usually 3-4 panel members to evaluate.

3) Is there time given for preparation after the topic is given and before starting the Group Discussion ?
Usually some time (2-5 minutes) is given to collect one's thoughts, but there could be instances when this does not happen, so it is best not to bank on this.

4) Should I address the panel or the group members ?
Don't ever make the mistake of addressing the panel members. The Group Discussion is between you and the other members, not the panel members. You must avoid even looking at the panel members while the Group Discussion is in progress. Just ignore their existence.

5) What is the seating arrangement like ?
It could be semi-circular, or circular, or seating along side a rectangular table,depending upon the venue. It is best not to bother about trivial issues like this,which you have no control over.

6) How should I address the other group members ?
If you are initiating the discussion, you could do so by collectively addressing the group as "Friends". Subsequently, you could use names (if the group has had around of self-introduction prior to starting the discussion and you remember the names) or simply use pronouns like "he" or "she".

7) Suppose I have a lot to say on the topic, should I say all of it ?
You would not be looked upon favorably if you kept speaking all the time and did not listen to anyone else. Contrary to the misconception, the person who talks the most is not necessarily the one who is judged the best. The quality and not the quantity of your contribution is the success factor.

8) Should I encourage others to speak up ?
Do not directly put someone who is consistently silent on the spot by asking him/her to speak up. If someone has been trying to speak and has a good point but is cut off constantly, you may encourage him/her to continue with her point as you would like to hear her out.

9) Are the group members supposed to keep track of the time or will the panel keep track ?
It would be good if you are conscious of the time, but not to the point of getting so distracted looking at your watch that you do not contribute to the discussion.

Group Discussion Tips :

1. Always be the initiator and concluder of the GD then being a participant.

2. But if you are participant always try to be the most viral/key participant.

3. put points firmly and always try to get others support too.

4. if you find that the discussion is going off-track then never loose an opportunity to bring it back to stream this is the best point to score max.

5. try to keep latest information on the topic.

6. be very polite , people may try to provoke you to to get more points but try to keep cool.

7. most important don't wait for your turn to speak when discussion is on. interrupt politely if you want to put forward your points.

8. last but not the least keep atab on the time given for discussion. score points by wrapping up the discussion if you feel that the discussion is heating but the time is going to be over.

9. during conclusion, do end with the conclusion note. that shows your leadership quality.

Do's and Don'ts of Group Discussion :
  • Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself.
  • A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to hear you speak.
  • Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say.
  • Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject.
  • Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject.Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else's point and then move onto express your views.
  • Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
  • Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
  • Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently.
  • Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis.
  • Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion personally.
  • Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: 'I strongly object' or 'I disagree'.Instead try phrases like: 'I would like to share my views on...' or 'One difference between your  point and mine...' or "I beg to differ with you" ChetanaS
  • Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak (this surely does not mean that the only thing that you do in the GD is to say "let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has to say," or "Raghu, let us hear your views" - Essentially be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
  • If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving feedback.
  • Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity. 
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