How to effectively start a Group Discussion
How to initiate Group Discussion effectively?
Group Discussion aka G.D. are a means to evaluate your communication and opinion providing skills in a group of audience. It is used as a tool by most of the top companies that are likely to hire a candidate on a high paying job.
Advantages of Initiating Group Discussion:
- Opportunity to speak first
- Chance to impress the interviewer
- Favorable first impression
- Means to prove yourself vocal and confident
- Creates pressure on other candidates
Steps to Initiate Group Discussion
Initiating a Group Discussion can be easy but staying on the same level of attentiveness and maintaining your head can get tiring. So, initiate only if you have a knowledge of the topic and can express your opinions in an unbiased and polite manner.
Methods or Tools to use to initiate a group discussion:
1. Short stories for reference
2. General statement to put forward your opinion
3. Substantiate with facts, figures and statistics
4. Quote personalities to make it powerful
5. Define difficult terms for better context
6. Put across questions
7. Providing shock statements can give it extra weightage
Methods / Tools of Group Discussion - Explained:
Quoting personalities or thoughts is always a good idea if you need to have an impact on the minds of the listeners but sadly quotes do not work with every topic. If it’s a more socially related topic using a quote would help but a topic that leans towards business, a quote would be an understatement.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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. “