8 Group Discussion Tips to Excel in Your Next Exam

Group Discussions are a part of everyone’s life. At least once in your lifetime, you will have to take part in a group discussion activity. It might be for your school function, a job interview, or just a group of people or friends having a conversation. A set of skills are required for group discussions, that are developed naturally among most people. Although, we can always work on our skills to get better and also develop them if we don’t possess them naturally if you know these amazing tricks to ace a group discussion.

Therefore, here at Podium, we bring you some of the top tips to walk your way through a group discussion and be a star among your peers along with some detailed knowledge about what a group discussion is and what its main purpose is.

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Group Discussion: Meaning

Group Discussion or GD is a type of discussion that involves people sharing ideas or activities. In a group discussion, people are connected with one basic idea. Everyone responds to that particular idea by putting forth their respective perspectives.

GD can be interpreted as a discussion that works as a mechanism to test a candidate’s leadership, communication, social and behavioral skills, politeness, teamwork, listening ability, general awareness, confidence, problem-solving skills, and much more.

The Group Discussion is generally the next level after the entrance exam to pursue a professional degree. In the process of recruitments, your performance in GD can also become a starting or ending point depending upon the company. Here’s an example of what a group discussion looks like.

Now that we know what’s the purpose of a Group Discussion is and why it is important. We bring you some of the best ways to ace a GD.

Why Group Discussion is Conducted?

Group Discussion is crucial and every one student is aware of the importance of it. Students in their final year are fully informed about this. Group discussions play a significant role in the interview process. To fully comprehend the role in Group Discussion you have to comprehend the viewpoint of the interviewer or panelist. What are the implications to a potential candidate and how do they prepare for it. Do not forget to look up the most frequently asked MBA interview questions, and find out why they are a favorite for all interviewers.

A group discussion is conducted to assess the capacity of candidates’ interaction capabilities. Group discussions are an opportunity to engage with people with whom you’ve never met before. It is like swimming in a puddle. It will be evaluated by how well you interact with them and how you can convey your message without being offensive, mean, or rude. Group Discussion will also determine whether you can be part of a group or are you a person who is a team player?

Group Discussion is recommended that you take part in Group Discussions in preparation for the entrance exam since it allows you plenty of time to keep up-to-date in the current news and other popular subjects. Additionally, you should practice your abilities to communicate with your eyes as well as body language.

Types Of Group Discussion

Group discussions will be classified by the following criteria:

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  • Conduct method
  • Nature of the subject

Based on the Method of Conduct

The basis of how group discussions are conducted, group discussions could be further classified into the following categories:

(i) structured group discussion: When you participate in this kind of discussion, the subject is decided upon by the participants by selecting them and a set time frame is allocated for the discussion. It is by far the most widely utilized method of group discussion.

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(ii) unstructured group discussion: In unstructured group discussions, as opposed to the context of structured group discussions, participants themselves decide on the topic by their mutual agreement. This type of formal group discussion is not often used.

(iii) The Role-Play: When participating in this kind of discussion group, the participants are given roles to perform within the context of an actual situation. Within the confines of their roles, participants must solve the challenges inherent to the scenario given to them.

(iv) group discussion with Leader Nominated: Generally, no one is named as the leader in a group discussion and everyone is considered to be equal. In this kind of tip for group discussion, one person is designated as a facilitator or participant in the discussion. The leader may summarise the discussion or discuss solutions after the discussion. Sometimes, the leader is selected by the members of the group themselves.

Based on Nature of the Topic

Discussions in groups can also be classified according to the topic that is assigned for discussion to participants. There are three types of topics: controversial topics, abstract subjects, and subjects for case studies.

(i) Controversial Topics: These are the topics that are controversial and are likely to spark arguments. They generally keep the debate lively when arguments and counterarguments are discussed. This gives the examiners greater opportunities to assess the candidates.

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(ii) Abstract Topics It is becoming a rising trend to assign abstract topics. That is topics that are unclear or unclear. They allow the assessors to assess the creativity of candidates. Each candidate will have their view of the subject. One of these topics is “Zero,” “One and one makes eleven’.

(iii) Case Study Topics The idea is that the participants are presented with scenario participants that could be the problem facing the management or the company. Participants must analyze the situation and consider several options to resolve the issue. This type of panel discussion will test the capability of the participant to come up with solutions while taking the context and limitations in mind.

8 Tips to Ace a Group Discussion

1. Have some knowledge on the given topic

It is advised to have some knowledge on the given topic before you participate in a group discussion. Yes, you cannot be aware of every topic, however, there are a few general GD topics you could research on. A few such topics are ‘Women make better managers agree or disagree?’, ‘Social Media is a boon or a bane for the society?’, ‘Your views on Bitcoin/ Cryptocurrency’.

Given the current scenario, you can always prepare on topics around COVID-19.

2. How you should initiate a group discussion

Many of you might think if you speak first, you can grab the attention. Well yes, you definitely can. However, it can also backfire. The pro tip here is to speak first only if you have meaningful information on the topic. You could start the discussion with a relevant quote, story, or fact. If you are confused about the topic and unsure how to start, it is fine to wait and listen to the others and then rephrase your answer.

3. Be careful about how you speak

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Once the group discussion is in full swing, be careful about how you speak. There will be many candidates with different views. You need to respect that and assertively put forward your view but not aggressively. Never in the world, should your tone become aggressive. Look at these phrases that can turn out to be useful for you while stating counter opinions respectfully.

If you disagree with someone, try to control your emotions and use phrases like, “I beg your pardon but I do not support your point of view, I have a contrary stance to make” and so on.

In situations where you agree with someone, use phrases like, “I support your stance, I share a similar opinion as yours”.

In scenarios where you partially agree with someone, try to use phrases like, “You’re right, though, I don’t fully agree with your statement” and so on.

You must use the right words and phrases throughout your group discussion tips. his reflects your respectful attitude towards others and that you’re ready to accept the opinions of fellow candidates.

Remember, you have a positive attitude throughout the discussion. It is important to carry out a healthy discussion. Group discussion is not a process to judge your current affairs knowledge but evaluate your interpersonal skills and behavior. Do check out our specific article on public speaking.

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4. Speak with clarity and put across your opinions

Using the previously mentioned phrases (point 3) allows you to speak. Hence, it would be best if you spoke with clarity and put across your opinions. Communicate confidently. Have a good command of English and speak comfortably. Take a pause and think of what to talk about. Do not try to be dominant while speaking. Finally, the result depends on the way you present your opinion and whether you succeed in convincing the rest of the candidates or not.

Another point to remember is not sitting back after talking once; try to have more than one entry.

5. Listen Carefully

Not just hear but listen. A vital skill the panel judges you on is your listening skills. Listening is a sign of respect. Do listen to understand your teammates and not just reply to them. This may sound easy but it is one of the most challenging tasks to carry out in a group discussion.

Millennial black businesswoman addressing colleagues at a corporate business meeting, close up

Listen carefully and then reply. Give others a chance to talk. Make eye contact with the speaker and acknowledge him or her by nodding your head. This shows your active participation in the discussion.

6. Body Language

Body language also plays a prime role in a GD. The panelists notice the way you sit and react. Body language speaks volumes about you. Hence, sit straight, avoid constant impatient or tensed movements, stay calm and maintain eye contact always. You should also remember to dress professionally and be presentable.

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7. Do not deviate from the topic

Do not deviate from the topic. Focus on the content rather than the length of your speech. You can surely display your leadership skills in a GD. Suppose the group begins to drift away from the given topic, take an initiative to help the group stick to the given topic.

Having said that, it is not your role to be the interviewer. However, make a conscious effort to have the group stick to the topic.

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8. Summarizing or stating your conclusion

You can capture the attention of the panel by summarizing and providing a good conclusion. The pro tip here is to summarize the entire discussion and highlight the key points. Try to find the middle ground and do not have a one-sided summary. Keep the summary short and relevant.

What are the Evaluation Criteria Required in Group Discussion?

Individually

Content

Your content is crucial. Period. The content you present in the course of the discussion is being listened to and will show your understanding skills. It’s not required to be a prolific speaker in all cases, but quality matters more than quantity. If you are speaking for just a few minutes, be sure to communicate your thoughts and with confidence. The panel is not looking for unneeded ramblings, they would rather you provide an enlightened foundation. Steer clear from irrelevant words.

Analytical abilities

Each discussion is based on facts, so you must get the facts right. The panel will want you to explore the ‘how’ as well as the ‘why of the issue. Your ability to think critically is evaluated to a higher degree and you’ll be subjected to the most difficult tests.

Skills for reasoning

The subject you are assigned to think through. The audience is interested in how well you demonstrate your thinking skills. This is not only about your arguments but also about how you take another’s argument and transform it into your own. It’s more like controlling the conversation.

Organization skills

Your argument must be well-organized. The number of information or facts will be of any use if you’re not able to communicate them in a structured way. Take a moment to think about it before you speak.

Communication skills

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It’s true that since it’s an open discussion, the ability to communicate is important. What are your communication skills? You should ask yourself this question. Do you speak in a language that other people can comprehend? Are you self-professed Shashi Tharoor? We recommend sticking to the former.

Creativity

Do you remember when in school Sky was purple? It’s the same way you have added your color to the sky. Now it’s time to color the discussion differently. Find a way to think outside the box. If everyone is thinking the same way, you must think outside of the box.

Once you are aware of how you’ll be evaluated ensure that you concentrate on areas for improvement when you train GDs. Recognize your weak points and work to fix them. Employ a trainer if have the opportunity or join an organization to help you prepare.

Group

Listening skill

When more than 10 people are participating in a conversation it’s easy to get distracted. Do not! In addition to presenting your arguments, it is better to listen to other people before forming your own opinions. The panel members are very curious They won’t bother you, but you can be sure they’re watching you. If you’re distracted by your thoughts, your expression can change and they’ll notice it. Make sure you keep eye contact with all people take note of everyone’s thoughts, listen to their arguments, and then compare them to your own.

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Leadership quality

It’s quite common in group Discussion that someone is appointed a leader. It’s not necessarily that they are getting additional points, but just so they can start the discussion and guide the discussion towards the correct direction. Take advantage of the opportunity. It will show your leadership capabilities and also how effective you’ll perform in the real world.

Body language

Body language is among the most important aspects because when we are in stressful situations, our body doesn’t exactly agree with our body language. It’s normal to feel anxious or anxious before the conversation, but remain calm and collected or at the very least pretend to be. Be sure to walk into the room calmly and confident. Keep your posture straight. Maintain eye contact, speak clearly. Use your hands with care. These tasks may appear difficult, but try to be positive and affirm yourself. Be sure to not do anything unnecessarily or do anything with your pencil, or tap your legs or fingers, and lastly, don’t use your fingers to comb your hair. These all show that you’re not interested in the conversation.

Group behavior

Respect for each other is the most important thing. While your opinion may be superior to another or you believe you are more knowledgeable, but that doesn’t give them the freedom to defame people in a continuous debate. Let everyone have a chance to speak, be attentive to them, but don’t interrupt them Do not dominate and don’t get personal. IIMs require sensitive individuals, such as those working as bouncers.

If you’re aware of how you’ll be evaluated ensure that you concentrate on the areas you can improve in your exercise GDs. Recognize your weak points and then work to improve those. Find a coach if you have the opportunity or join an organization to help you prepare.

Do’s And Don’ts of Group Discussion

Dress Formally

The way a person dresses is a major indicator. Do not wear jeans, a crop top, or a T-shirt when going to a group discussion. Wear smart formal attire for Group Discussions. Make sure you feel at ease. Wearing a nice outfit improves your confidence and increases the likelihood of making an impression.

Speak First

Try opening the GD. Don’t be discouraged that you can’t as you could have been the one who had the chance If you can open it you will be a major plus. But it’s only beneficial if you’ve mastered the subject thoroughly. Even if you don’t speak first, be sure you present your argument before you speak.

Eye Contact

Be calm and relaxed. It’s just a GD, not an issue of life or death. Make sure to keep eye contact with everyone; they’re just as nervous as you are.

Let others speak.

Give people the chance to talk. Don’t remove them. This does not create an impression of professionalism. It is best to wait for your turn to give your arguments.

Be Assertive

Be courteous. Make use of simple words to express your thoughts. Be careful not to dominate. If you are not in agreement with someone’s position, you must put your arguments in an empathetic and calm manner.

Be Sensible

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up and then find ourselves talking about carelessly. Be careful not to do doing that. Don’t keep on going to gain more time, thus more highlights. It won’t be effective when your argument isn’t sufficiently convincing. Keep it simple and, once you’re finished speaking, please allow others to talk.

GD Weightage

In the majority of IIMs and colleges In the majority of IIMs and colleges, the Group Discussion is a significant part of the curriculum. Every college has its weightings for GD which makes it hard to determine precisely what scores can be earned in GD. However, it could range between 10 and 20%. If it’s part of WAT and PI the two have a 50 percent weightage.

FAQ

  1. What are the essential aspects of a discussion in a group?

Being open-minded is an essential factor in life as well as GD as well. Other essential aspects to consider are self-confidence an enlightened and balanced mindset and critical thinking, problem-solving analysis skills, and a good understanding of the subject.

2. What are the goals of a group discussion?

What is the purpose of the GD? The purpose of the group discussion is to determine certain qualities for a person who could otherwise be difficult or time-consuming to identify. Panelists or assessors during a discussion group will be looking for the ability to communicate.

3. Is group discussion important during the interview?

Yes, Group Discussions should be a requirement when hiring Group Discussion is a great remedy for those with shy personalities and insecure or introverts who like the company of their own. … So it is clear that a GD before hiring can be advantageous to businesses that manage projects in coordination.

4. How do I introduce myself to Gd?

Make use of a basic opening line like “Hi everyone, my name is ____” and proceed to the topic. Make sure to introduce yourself. If you are introducing the topic for a discussion group to begin about, provide a brief description of the topic and then hand the baton.

Parting Words from Podium

So there were our top tips to master group discussions. Make sure you follow these tips and put them to practice to ace your next group discussion round. You can research various GD topics, improve your language and communication skills, you can have mock group discussions with your family and friends. This way you will have a good experience. Be more comfortable and confident while participating in the real group discussion. That brings us to the end of this article. We hope these group discussion tips were helpful and we wish you all the very best.

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