Group Discussion is a platform used by recruiters to evaluate aspirant’s personality, their ability to communicate with peers and work in a group, to check their subject knowledge and most importantly their social skills.
Whatever be the nature of job or the position, it demands working in a group and the ability to communicate your views to the group and accept the inputs from the members of the group.
Here is a 5 Step Process to present yourself effectively in a Group Discussion and also to Stand Out from the rest of the group.
1: GRIP YOUR AUDIENCE
Hold the Group members and the panel’s attention intellectually. The
manner in which you present your point, the choice of words, your
logical thought flow and the appropriate tone should set the pace. Don’t
make light of the tone part as most people tend to lose out even if
they have a strong point because they are inaudible. Taking on the role
of a facilitator adds to visibility. Don’t be aggressive in your body
language and learn to counter the points put forth by your peers
2: RECIPROCATE TO ENGAGE
Reinforce the meaning of a discussion by reciprocating to your peers point. It is logical to respond either through positive acknowledgement or reinforcement. A simple, ‘that’s a valid point’ or if you are contradicting then, I’m afraid that is not in line with what we were discussing at hand. Support your peer’s point by adding information or examples. Some form of response is critical for the discussion to have vigor and succession. Avoid expressing only points that you have prepared and ensure there is a link to the previous point mentioned.
3: ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS
Always be clear in your head with what you want to say, learn to think on your feet, listen carefully to your peers and respond appropriately and in a timely fashion. Ensure your points are supported by clear and factual examples. Even better, provide famous examples. Something familiar registers easy and fast. Use transitional words and phrases like ‘in other words’ or ‘to rephrase it’ when you want to clarify or t ‘on the other hand’ or ‘on the contrary’ for contradiction. When you want to compare a point, ‘in the same way’ or ‘likewise’ works and ‘to illustrate’ or ‘for instance’ for illustration. Avoid incomplete sentences and don’t be ambiguous jumping from one thought to another.
4: UPHOLD THE GROUP
You can uphold the group by encouraging the shy ones or candidates who struggle to present their points. Many people find it challenging to complete a sentence or are inaudible while others may not get an opportunity to present their points. Step in as a facilitator and give them a chance to share their opinion. Pay attention and keep track of time, remind the team of time left and set the group in preparation for the conclusion. Be assertive but be courteous, do not interrupt another members point but wait to let them finish and then intervene at the right time. Watch your body language and at any point of time do not point fingers or raise hands at a member for the sake of emphasis.
5: PREPARE TO EXCEL
Start by acquiring information. Read voraciously, research relevant points on various current topics. Look at examples and explanations to help support your points especially needed to counter contradictions. Participate in mock group discussion to understand the group dynamics better.
Learn to identify your key skills:
- Are you good at listening and drawing points from peers to enhance discussion?
- Are you good at being a facilitator?
- Are you good at retention and are able to recollect points and present it at the right time, for example, summarization?
Record yourself and see how you articulate.
- Are you maintaining the right pace and volume?
- Are you comprehensible?
Preparation is a must and the right time is now.
On the whole, be yourself, show receptivity, think before you speak and use facts, quotes and statements to express a clear chain of thought.