communication skills, public speaking

Tips on Preparing for a Group Discussion

Group Discussion Training by Anurag Aggarwal

Group discussion is considered as an important part of public speaking and also helps in judging one’s personality. Group discussion is an activity that is carried by 8 to 10 members in a group for 15-20 minutes (generally). It is the one of the most commonly used method to select the prospective candidates in a comparative perspective (like in job, admission in a university etc.).

In this, a topic is given to the group and then they are given 2-3 minutes to collect their views on that topic. Group discussion then starts and continues for approx. 15-20min. After that, evaluation of each member is done by the panelists and the selection is done.

Group Discussion judges your:

  • Content knowledge- You must have adequate knowledge about the given topic so that you can also points for logical arguments.
  • Communication skills- You have to be a good speaker as well as a listener as communication is a two-way process.
  •  Interpersonal skills- Formal language and mutual respect are considered.
  •  Leadership Skills- A good leader leads the group but at the same time allows the group to express their views.

Here are some tips while you prepare for a group discussion:

1) Adequate Subject Knowledge is Necessary: You should be aware of the most recent news and things happening around you, in the entire world. In-depth knowledge of the subject matter would give you even better place.

2) Keep Reading Widely and Wisely: Read passionately as it will help you in group discussions. Do not rely on last minute preparations.  Continuous reading will also enhance your vocabulary.

3) Be Awake about the Topics that are Repeated: Some topics are repeatedly used in Group Discussions with slight changes. Be aware of them well in advance so that you can prepare them well. Some of such topics are terrorism, gender inequality, root cause of corruption, poverty, reservations in educational institutions etc.

4) Select Magazines that are Rich in Content: Many magazines are just full of advertisements. Don’t go for them. Select the ones which have more knowledgeable contents.

 5) Work on your Communication Skills: Good vocabulary and good command over English can help you earn more points. Rehearse before the final day. You can do it by sitting with your friends or colleagues and choosing a topic for discussion.

6) Listen to the Topic Carefully: Listen to the topic and understand it first before starting to speak. Be attentive and observant. Sometimes, even the simplest of the topics may be presented in a different manner to puzzle you. So listen carefully and then structure it on a sheet of paper. Write the key points that you would like to mention during group discussion. Avoid deviating from the topic.

7) Be the First and also the Last to Speak: Initiating a GD is an advantage as it shows your leadership skills and confidence. And so is with ending it. Grab the opportunity to close the discussion by summarizing it or concluding it.

8) Listening Skills are Important: Group discussion is not only about speaking. You must listen to others also.  Give others a chance to speak and listen to them carefully. Acknowledge the speaker by nodding your head or saying you agree. This would show that you are listening to him/her attentively and that you are active in the discussion.

9) Body Gestures are Essential: Your body gestures speak a lot about you and the panellists are continuously observing them. Make sure to sit straight and attentively. Do not play with your pen or a key ring or any other thing. Do not get disturbed by any kind of distraction.

At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development, Presentation Skills and Communication Skills. In this course you will be trained in all the above mentioned things and others that are needed to have outstanding communication skills.

More details on the course.

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