Tips for Group Discussion
John Ekka, New Jersey, USA
Preparation for Group Discussion
1) Read Newspaper everyday, specially the editorial section, which gives the analysis of the current events. Try to rewrite the gist of the editorial in your own words and keep it for future references. Try to make it concise so that you can speak on it for about 10-15 minutes, not more than that. It should be broken into introduction, main topic( again broken into points 1, 2,3 etc.); and conclusion.
2) Ask your friend(s) to give you a topic and try speaking on it impromptu for at least 10-15 minutes. Ask them how you did and what you missed.
3) Make a group of 6-7 persons and do a mock GD. Make one-person overseer and ask him/her to note down each persons performance. (Who started the GD, who started shouting, who was dominating etc.)
4) Usually prior to GD you may know who are the people in the group if not then try to find out and try to memorize their name; so that when you are speaking, and you are making references to some point, already raised by another person, you can name the person.
During Group Discussion
1) As soon as the floor is handed over to you for GD, try to initiate the GD. That is, try to be the one to start the GD. If not then, try to be the last to conclude it.
2) If everyone is trying to speak at the same time, make suggestion that people should take turn to speak starting from one side. Take initiative to organize the GD. This is one of the important features the supervisor(s) (examiners) look for. It is an indicator of your skill of organizing an event.
3) Do not start shouting during GD, to take command over the GD, but wait for the break when the current speaker stops once he/she runs out of idea(s) then take over the command.
4) If the current speaker keeps on going on and on then you may ask him politely to stop and give a chance to next person. This is also an important feature as you are showing your capability of pulling in other people.
5) Do not try to shout while speaking as well as do not sit quite.
6) Try to listen carefully what other people have to say and then later may be you can elaborate on it after making reference to the persons name also.
7) Once you have exhausted whatever you have to say, either you can pass the command to the next person or may hand over the command to the person, who was keeping quite. This indicates you are a team player. Big projects needs a good team player, instead of a brilliant loner, as it depends on everyones contribution.
8) Speak slowly and clearly, do not rush through it.
9) Do not repeat the same thing again and again. If you have run out of points and ideas hand over the baton to others.
10) Instead of using the same word again and again, try using synonyms in your sentences. It shows your command over the language.
The above points I have compiled from my own experiences and knowledge. I may be wrong, let me know. Tell me if I have missed something so that it can be included.
Wishing you ALL THE BEST -- John