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By: Abhishek Chowdhury

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1 By: Abhishek Chowdhury
GROUP DISCUSSION By: Abhishek Chowdhury

2 A typical GD comprises of a small group of candidates
A typical GD comprises of a small group of candidates. Each group is then given a topic for discussion. The topic can be general or specific. Example: Kashmir Conflict or just a phrase saying "Where there's a will there's a way".

3 TYPES….. Topic-Based Group Discussions are further divided into:
1)    Knowledge Based Topics 2)    Abstract Topics 3)    Controversial Topics 4)    Opinion Seeking Topics

4 Knowledge Based Topics
Under this kind of group discussion, you require in depth information about the topic been given to you. 1) You should be able to support it with facts and figures 2) Your information should be substantial. Examples: a)   Unique Identification Number b)   Cold War c)    Is terrorism the price we have to pay for democracy? d)   Globalisation  and Privatization e)   Is Mixed Economy preferred? f)    MBA or PGDM? g)   Privatization of Universities/colleges/schools h)   Does India need a dictatorship? i)    MBA in India is overrated

5 Abstract Topics Under this type of a group discussion, the panelist gives a topic which is absolutely out of the box. Abstract topics are more about intangible things. These topics test your creativity and also to some extent your thinking ability. Such topics can be interpreted in different ways by the candidates. In such topics, your comprehension skills and communication skills are judged. Example: 1)   A Teardrop on my Guitar 2)   Where there’s a will there’s away 3)   26 Alphabets 4)   Infinite Numbers 5)   A Walk to Remember 6)   Six Billion and One Gold Such topics do not require facts or figures but simply judge your imagination and how well you can associate it with you day to day life.

6 Controversial Topics Such topics can lead to an argument, they’re argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy and at the same time, judge the analytical skills of the participant to see if he/ she can think rationally, without any bias and arrive at a harmonious conclusion. Such topics are  also given by the panelists so that they can judge the maturity level of the students and they don’t start screaming at other candidates., If, as a student, you  are not in favour of what the other candidate is saying, then  you should be smart enough to put across your point candidly without / bashing the speaker. Example: 1)   Reservation should be removed 2)   Quota System should be Abolished 3)   Maintaining brotherhood is a social obligation 4)   Beauty Pageants give a wrong impact on the women of India 5)   Politics in India 6)   Reality shows- Should children be banned from coming in such shows?

7 Opinion Seeking Topics
In such topics, candidates are asked to put across their opinions, their point of views. The panelists look for presentation skills when given such topics and also your ability to work in a team which means that your leadership skills are also judged. Example: 1)   Women – boon to the society or bane to the society 2)   Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage 3)   Nuclear Family or Joint Family

8 CASE BASED STUDY Under a case based study, a situation or a scenario is left to students for an open discussion. The information about the situation will be provided to you, a problem regarding the same situation will be given, all you will be asked for is to resolve it. Topics given during this type of discussion are more management related, for example: the panelists might give you a situation which could be a conversation/argument between an employee and the boss etc. These are open end discussions, wherein nobody is right or wrong, using their thinking ability they decide what they can do in such situations etc. The panelist under the case based study, look for the decision making skills, his/her ability to work in a team etc.

9 What skills are judged in group discussion?
How good you are at communication with others. How you behave and interact with group. How open minded are you. Your listening skill. How you put forward your views. Your leadership and decision making skills. Your analysis skill and subject knowledge. Problem solving and critical thinking skill. Your attitude and confidence.


11 Keep eye contact while speaking:
Do not look at the evaluators only. Keep eye contact with every team member while speaking.

12 Initiate the GD Initiating the GD is a big plus. But keep in mind – Initiate the group discussion only when you understood the GD topic clearly and have some topic knowledge. Speaking without proper subject knowledge is bad impression.

13 Allow others to speak Do not interrupt anyone in-between while speaking. Even if you don’t agree with his/her thoughts do not snatch their chance to speak. Instead make some notes and clear the points when it’s your turn.

14 Speak clearly Speak politely and clearly. Use simple and understandable words while speaking. Don’t be too aggressive if you are disagreeing with someone. Express your feelings calmly and politely.

15 Make sure to bring the discussion on track
If by any means group is distracting from the topic or goal then simply take initiative to bring the discussion on the track. Make all group members aware that you all need to come to some conclusion at the end of the discussion. So stick to the topic.

16 Positive attitude Be confident. Do not try to dominate anyone. Keep positive body language. Show interest in discussion.

17 Speak sensibly Do not speak just to increase your speaking time. Don’t worry even if you speak less. Your thoughts should be sensible and relevant instead of irrelevant speech.

18 Listen carefully to others
Speak less and listen more! Pay attention while others are speaking. This will make coherent discussion and you will get involved in the group positively. You will surely make people agree with you.

19 No need to go into much details
Some basic subject analysis is sufficient. No need to mention exact figures while giving any reference. You have limited time so be precise and convey your thoughts in short and simple language.

20 Formal dressing Do not take it casually. No fancy and funny dressing. You should be comfortable while speaking in group. Positive gesture and body language will make your work easy.


22 Emotional outburst Deviate from the subject.
Treat the discussion as a forum to air your own views. Lose objectivity and make personal attacks. Behaviour would have been perceived as immature and demotivating to the rest of the team

23 Quality Vs Quantity Assessment is not only on your communication skills but also on your ability to be a team player. Evaluation is based on quality, and not on quantity. Your contribution must be relevant. The mantra is "Contributing meaningfully to the team's success." Domination is frowned upon.

24 Egotism Showing off Exercise restraint in anything. You will end up being frowned upon if you attempt showing-off your knowledge. Facts and figures need not validate all your statements. Its your analysis and interpretation that are equally important - not just facts and figures. You might be appreciated for your in-depth knowledge. But you will fail miserably in your people skills. Such a behavior indicates how self-centered you are and highlights your inability to work in an atmosphere where different opinions are expressed.

25 Get noticed - But for the right reasons
False starts are extremely expensive. They cost you your admission. It is very important to listen and understand the topic before you air your opinions. Spending a little time analyzing the topic may provide you with insights which others may not have thought about. Use a pen and paper to jot down your ideas. Listen! It gives you the time to conceptualize and present the information in a better manner. Some mistakes are irreparable. Starting off the group discussion with a mistake is one such mistake, unless you have a great sense of humor.

26 Managing one's insecurities.
our personality is also being evaluated. Your verbal and non verbal cues are being read. Remember, you are the participant in the GD; not the evaluator. So, rather than evaluating others and your performance, participate in the discussion. Your confidence level is being evaluated. Decent communication skills with good confidence is a must to crack the GDs. Focus on your strengths and do not spend too much time thinking about how others are superior or inferior to you. It is easy to pick up these cues from your body language.

27 Tips for Group Discussion
Take 1 or 2 minutes to understand the topic properly Understand the objective of the discussion Write 2-3 points which you would like to highlight Speak slowly and be clearly audible Give a meaningful contribution in an attempt to help the group reach the right consensus State – 'May I put across another view?' / 'Add another point to the topic?’ Show respect to others and don't cut others unless he/she is taking too much time Ensure that the group hears your point Listen to others' points and jot them down Do not repeat others' points Be assertive but not bull-headed Practice before Have a good knowledge base. Read newspaper regularly on Global, Political and Economic news Be a good communicator


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