Group Discussions – I

The points that I mention in this article were passed on to me by my teachers and also from the experiences gained by being a part of 7-8 GDs . Hope it benefits some of the aspirants.

1) KNOWLEDGE: Absolutely no substitute for it. A friend of mine inspite of being a very good speaker fared very badly in one GD because he hadn’t read much about the Augusta Westland deal. Read newspapers, follow news channels. You have to know the current affairs very well. You do win a few brownie points if you put across accurate facts and data.

2) CONFIDENCE: You have to overcome your fear of speaking in public. Take part in as many mock GDs as you can and treat them like actual GDs. You might be very knowledgable on a particular topic but if you get tongue-tied and fail to put your points across, you know your GD has not gone down too well. You sit in a GD with 10-15 other aspirants who want to convert the GD/PI call as much as you do and hence, they are not going to invite you (most of the time) to put forth your views. You have to be confident enough to seize the opportunity and put your points across.

3) HOW MANY TIMES TO SPEAK?? In the words of Akash Gautam, ‘Your goal in a B – School GD, is just to create 4-5 good strikes‘. If you manage to put in 5-6 good points in a GD, you can say you have done well. If you continuously speak and don’t allow others to speak, you only win negative points.

4) SPEAK FOR OR AGAINST THE TOPIC?? My teachers told me to speak on both sides of the topic. You have to demonstrate that you are mature enough to look at the pro’s and con’s of every situation and that you look at both side of the coin before making a decision.

5) Reasons should come before opinions: Never start with statements like , ‘I think Aamir Khan is a better actor than Shah Rukh Khan.’ Before you know it, a SRK fan might jump at you and won’t let you give the reasons why Aamir is better. A better way to say it would be ‘Aamir Khan is a perfectionist. He gets into the skin of any character while shooting. Given his intensity, passion, dedication, performances and diverse roles, I think he is a better actor than SRK. ‘

6) FISH MARKET: NEVER add to a fish market. You might have a very good point, but when you speak when 2-3 other people are speaking at the same time, your point won’t be heard. Worse, some other aspirant may take your point and present it in a better manner when the din reduces. Having a fish market kind of situation can be a real disadvantage for the entire group and you have to ensure that you are not the one responsible for it.