How to effectively start a Group Discussion

How to initiate Group Discussion effectively?

Group Discussion forms an important stage in the placement process of top mass recruiters and high paying jobs. The candidates are evaluated on the basis of

  • Their knowledge,
  • Communication and
  • Group skills.

Initiating a group discussion is sure to enhance your score in a GD.

Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy. When you initiate a GD, you not only grab the opportunity to speak, you also grab the attention of the examiner and your fellow candidates.

If you can make a favorable first impression with your content and communication skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through the discussion. But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and figures, the damage might be irreparable.

group discussion

Steps to Initiate Group Discussion

Initiating a GD is a double-edged sword. When a candidate initiates, apart from grabbing an opportunity to speak, he also grabs the attention of examiners and fellow candidates. So, if a candidate who initiates is able to make a favourable first impression through his content and communication skills, it will help him sail through the GD.

On the other hand, if a candidate stammers, stutters or quotes wrong facts and figures, the damage done is irreparable. The candidate who initiates also has the onus of giving the GD the right perspective or framework. So, initiate only if you have in-depth knowledge about the topic at hand.

If, after initiating well, a candidate does not say much during the GD, it still gives the impression that he or she started the GD just for the sake of starting it, or to get those initial points earmarked for an initiator. There are different techniques to initiate a GD in order to make a remarkable first impression:

Different techniques to initiate a GD and make a good first impressions are:

1. Quotes

2. Definition

3. Question

4. Shock statement

5. Facts, figures and statistics

6. Short story

7. General statement

QUOTES

Quotes are always an effective way to start or to initiate the Group Discussion. But do actually have to quote or do not have to quote also depends on the topic which is given to your group. And the quote should also relate with the given topic then only you will be able to create a impression on the interviewer or the observer.

EXAMPLE:-

If your topic is ” Girl Fetus Killing” or similar topics related to killing of Girl Fetus and your views on it. Here a very strong Quote you can use and that is “Killed in Womb Civilization in Doom”

EXAMPLE:-

If Your topic is ” Chinese goods are a threat to Indian businessmen and economy.” Give your views on this. Now on these topics using a quote which is relevant is very tough and can be sceptical as well But if you get one quote like “There is no dependence that can be sure but a dependence upon one’s self.” no one can stop you from this quote.

Definitions

DEFINITIONS

Starting a GD with definitions is always a very good idea because it starts the flow of incoming points from other group members and can turn the group discussion into a very health discussion. The flow of points starts incoming because the topic becomes understandable  to the members who were finding it difficult to understand and moreover this also creates an impact on the observer.

EXAMPLE:-

If the topic of the Group Discussion is “Will the Chinese project OBOR or ‘One Belt One Road’ benefit India?” one can go ahead by defining ” One Belt One Road ” Chinese Project so that flow of points can come in from the other members as well.

EXAMPLE:-

If the topic given to your group is an abstract topic like “Hard work or smart work?” then you can start by explaining ” hard and smart work “ and various other factors related to the same which can start the incoming flow of points and counter points.

QUESTION

Question after Quotes creates the most impact in a Group Discussion. That does not mean that question should be asked to insult the other candidate or hamper the flow of the discussion.

It implies asking a question, and answering it yourself. Any question that might hamper the flow of a GD or insult a participant or play devil’s advocate must be discouraged. Questions that promote the flow of points and convert the discussion a healthy discussion or revives a dead discussion is always appreciated and is always noticed as well.

EXAMPLE:-

If the topics is like ” Should India indulge itself in a war with China” one can always ask a question “What does a war bring to the people of a nation?”

or “Where will lead to if we get indulge in a war with China?” These Questions will bring up different ideas and points which will turn the Discussion in a healthy one.

EXAMPLE:-

If the topic give to your group is that discuss “Villages are the pride of India” one can start the this discussion by a very valid and strong Question like “Why villages are important for India?” or

“Why Villages must be reserved in the manner they should be?” Questions like these have major different opinions which can fuel up the discussion within seconds.

questions

SHOCK STATEMENT

The reason why this point has been added to our list of How to Start a Group Discussion suggestions is because putting forth a shocking or eye-opening statement or statistic positively reflects on your in-depth knowledge of the subject matter along with being a great way to grab the attention of all your competitors. Strategically distribute your shock statements so that the GD always goes in your favour and you never lose your bit of attention. If handled well throughout the GD, it can create an awe factor for you to ride on!

EXAMPLE:-

If the topic is ‘Impact of population on the Indian economy,’ for instance, it can be initiated with a statement like, ‘Near the centre of the Indian capital stands a population clock that relentlessly ticks away. It tracks 33 births a minute, 2,000 an hour, 48,000 a day, which calculates to nearly 12 million every year. That is roughly the size of Australia.

As a current political slogan puts it, ” nothing is impossible when 1 billion Indians work together.”

Facts figures and statistics

If you decide to initiate your GD with facts, figure and statistics then make sure to quote them accurately.

Approximation is allowed in macro level figures, but micro level figures need to be correct and accurate.

EXAMPLE:-

You can say, approximately 70 per cent of the Indian population stays in rural areas (macro figures, approximation allowed),

but you cannot say 30 states of India instead of 28 (micro figures, no approximations).

Stating wrong facts works to your disadvantage.

For a GD topic like, “China, a Rising Tiger”, you could start with, ‘In 1983, when China was still in its initial stages of reform and opening up, China’s real use of Foreign Direct Investment only stood at $636 million. China actually utilized $60 billion of FID in 2004, which is almost 100 times that of its 1983 statistics.

EXAMPLE:-

If your group has been assigned a topic in Group Discussion to discuss on “The gun law in the USA is a huge flaw.” You can provide major facts and figures like

  • 36,000 Americans are killed by guns each year—an average of 100 per day.
  • 100,000 Americans are shot and injured each year

Statistics like these will strengthen your point and will create an impact on observer and fellow contestants ass well.

Statistics
Short stories

Short story

Short Stories are as good as quotes to initiate a group discussion but use of short stories have very skeptical views whether to use it  in the beginning or in the end to conclude the discussion. But lecturers or English professors say that stories can be used in both situations to express the point. But in GD if you want to initiate with a short story that will only be possible in the topics based on behavior or on behavioral pattern. Other than these topics Short Stories to initiate will not work.

EXAMPLE:-

If you get a GD topic like “Attitude is everything.”

The topic can be initiated with the help of a short story as follows:

A child once asked a balloon vendor, who was selling helium gas-filled balloons, if a blue-coloured balloon would go up as high as a green-coloured one. The vendor told the child that it was not the colour of the balloon but what was inside it that made it go high”

EXAMPLE:-

If you get a topic to discuss in a GD like “Hard work or smart work?”

You can again initiate it by telling an interesting short story like this

“In a place there was organized a lumberjack competition in which the winner was to be decided by the number of trees he cuts. In this competition two opponents were introduced and the competition started. amongst those 2 competitors one was cutting the trees continuously and the other one was cutting the trees while taking breaks in between.

At the end of the competition the one cutting with taking breaks in between won the competition and the reason for his win was in the break he used to sharpen his tools. “