Group Discussion is a significant step for college admission, job selection or handling the workplace in future. There should be a proper strategy for planning GD, and this need for proper planning creates confusion and anxiety among participants.
The question is how to prepare for group discussion, ensuring the best performance during the big day.
Tips for Preparation for Group Discussion
Expand the knowledge base
Read newspapers, magazines, watch news channels, online news portals, and other sources for current and contemporary information. It helps in understanding the event from different perspectives and sources.
It helps you to analyze the news from different angles. Make your version of the incident, too, because that will be useful during group discussion day.
Make notes of daily happenings around and make your viewpoint on the events. This activity will enhance your analytical abilities and your knowledge sphere.
Be a Good Listener
Only a good listener can be a great communicator. For preparation, invite a couple of friends or family and conduct a mock session. Decide on a topic for discussion and ask participants to start talking about their ideas and perceptions.
Focus on listening in this exercise. Listen to them carefully with complete attention and dedication. Ask questions and intervene with remarks politely. Don’t forget to record the session.
Re-play the recording and see how you have performed during the session. Note down weak points and practice to improve listening skills for group discussion.
Don’t just stick to one genre or category of topic for group discussion preparation. There is no fixed pattern for the topic of discussion in GD; it could be from a diverse range of subjects and genres.
So, to protect yourself from unwanted surprises at the discussion table, diversify your knowledge horizons as extensive as possible. You stand a better chance to qualify if you know a wider range of subjects and topics.
Team Leading Skills
Employers look for team-leading skills in candidates. To learn how to prepare for group discussion for becoming good at leadership, you must evolve team management skills.
You can show initiative to start the discussion, intervene if the session becomes dull, or ask questions that change the course of the discussion, etc.
Employers and panelists look for such skills for future managers, and you should prepare to show some leadership skills on the GD day.
Work on communication skills
Interpersonal skills are the present and future of education and employability. It is becoming very important how you communicate with fellow members and co-workers. Employers and hiring managers look for candidates who can handle clients, vendors, and managerial tasks efficiently.
Communication is and will be the most in-demand soft skill for study and job.
Working on communication skills is a must if you want to excel on the final day and impress panelists as well as the group. Communication skills should be visible in your command over language, vocabulary, bodily positions, respect for other members, and a decent way to present yourself.
To prepare yourself, make a group and conduct group discussion on any contemporary topic. Select topics from the previous year’s group discussion and talk about them. Encourage friends to give their points and tell how you are performing.
Observe your tone, delivery, relevancy of points etc. and give remarks to each other. Practice alone in front of the mirror. All of these will improve your communication skills and overcome pain points.
Work on your gestures and postures. Right from entering the room, moderators and panelists observe how you stand, sit, body movement etc. Professional gesture and posture are an essential part of presenting yourself at group discussion, and it leaves a great impact on attendees and hiring managers.
Sit straight on the chair, never lay back or in a comfortable position. Look sharp and attentive while speaking and when others are speaking. Hear attentively is vital to make your points and counter the points of members.
Always maintain eye contact with the moderator and members. It shows your interest and activeness during the session.
Certain things to avoid during a group discussion:
Never get distracted by any sound or activity in the room or outside; stay focused and organized.
You should not make any sound such as the click of a pen, a strange voice, or anything that disturbs the session’s pace.
If you want to grow and learn how to prepare for group discussion, learn from constructive criticism. Close friends and family members are the best way to know your weaknesses.
Talk to them and ask about your weaknesses or personality features that need to polish. Receive their feedback in a constructive way, even negative ones, because those negative feedbacks will ensure your victory in group discussion.
Feedback might be about your tone, using your hands a lot, some common words like ‘you know’, ‘you can understand’ etc. Make a note of them and improvise your behavioral features.
Never use negative words such as ‘you don’t understand’, ‘you are wrong’ etc.
Research on topics
Research on the topics which came in previous group discussions. Learn that topic and all the related topics around that. In several instances, panelists give the same topic with little variation, so stay prepared for that and notice repeat topics.
You can also ask ex-students or employees of the company; they are the best guys to guide you through relevant topics for the group discussion.
The Day of the Group Discussion
After preparing for group discussion, remember to do the following on the final day:
- Go in formal dress and smell nice.
- Think before talking; if you don’t know, don’t talk or wait for few other speakers
- Speak clear and loudly
- Do not show aggression, insult, sarcasm etc.
- Use easy to understand vocabulary
The best tip for how to prepare for group discussion is to make yourself mentally strong. Go in the group discussion area with a positive attitude of winning and a strong mentality, and you will be victorious for sure.