In today’s competitive world, where everyone possesses a special set of skills and wants to get ahead in the race, making a mark for yourself can be a tough task. Every year thousands and thousands of young college aspirants like you go through different selection processes laid down by the educational institutions, one of them being Group Discussion. 

Group Discussion or simply referred as GD round is organised to select the finest of students from a pool of other able students. The key to acing any GD round is to be vocal and speak with precision. GD rounds seem daunting, since you are expected to speak in front of new faces and also make a good impression on the panelists, but don’t worry! We have compiled a list of ten effective tips that will help you ace that group discussion round like a champion, and secure that college seat which you were aiming for. Read on further to know these easy to do tips:

Tips for excelling in group discussions

1. Do your research 

It is smart to brush up your general knowledge and awareness about the course and the subject that you have opted for before the GD round, as this helps you speak with knowledge and gives you the confidence to keep across your views swiftly. 

It is no rocket science that group discussions are organised to observe the awareness and communicative ability of a student. While GD rounds work in such a manner where a topic of discussion is given to the students on the spot, it also goes without saying that they are very course specific. For e.g, a person appearing of GD for CLAT exam can expect a topic related to law and recent political happenings around  the world, where as a person going for GD round for DUET exam for admissions in Journalism can expect the topic to be on general media awareness and the world of mass communication related happenings, and so on.

2. Carry a pen and notepad

You might not think about it, but carrying a pen and notepad with you can come in very handy during group discussions. These help you out greatly in GDs since:

  1. You can jot down your points in the notepad, which you can glance at any moment and speak about.
  2. When other people are introducing themselves, as you can quickly note down their names and use it to address them while discussing or keeping your point. After all, the best way to get someone’s attention is by addressing them by taking their name!

3. Show your leadership

The panelists look for candidates who are confident and not afraid to take the first step and lead the room with their knowledge and communicative skills. When you take the lead, you come across as a natural leader, who is able to take people with her/him, and command the attention of the room, which is one of the most important quality that the panelists look for. When you are well prepared (as discussed in point 1) and have a good start point in front you (as suggested in point 2), there is nothing stopping you from taking the lead. Not to mention, by initiating and leading the discussion, you take the brownie point for possessing leadership skills, as well as giving a direction to the discussion.

However. do not overdo your leadership. There is nothing worse than a weak initiation to the GD just because you wanted to speak first.

4. Listening is as important as speaking 

You might be holding the view that GD rounds are only about talking and talking endlessly. Wrong! The key to acing group discussion is also being a very good listener. It is a group discussion, where lots of other people will also be sharing their views on a topic. You might agree with some, you might disagree with some. But it is important to listen to what others have to say very carefully as you might have something to add to it too. Your attentiveness and listening skills also play a huge role in getting you across the GD rounds. A lot of times you might not have anything on your own to say, but after listening to someone else speak, you might have some thoughts about it, and GD is all about being vocal. So, keep your ears open!

5. Be precise : Talking more does not score more

A lot of times, students blabber and speak without an end just to fill the void, or for the sake of coming across as vocal and communicative. This actually yields the opposite of what you might be going for.Group Discussion is a good way of ascertaining which individual has put across her/his thoughts and ideas precisely and confidently. Being precise and on the topic is an attribute which only few possess naturally, but which can easily be learned by anyone with a lot of practice. So, make sure you make good and precise points and speak on them, rather than speaking continuously without making any sense!

6. Impress with facts and examples

When we want someone to agree with us, or acknowledge our stand, the best method to get that is to always speak with facts and examples. Using facts and examples to explain your viewpoint better shows how aware and well-researched you are, which not only makes a good impression on the fellow participants, but also on the panelists! Facts and examples are understood easily but all and also gives your points a lot of weightage and credibility. So, don’t be shy to chip in some examples and facts where you can. 

7. Evaluators appreciate open-mindedness 

The key to having a good GD round, and life as a whole is to be open to new ideas and thoughts always. People admire individuals who are growth oriented, capable of embracing and welcoming new ideas, thoughts and changes, and not someone who remains caged with their limited views. Ground discussions are not always about what you think is right or wrong, but also about being open to other ideas as well. If you come across someone’s view that resonates with you, and makes you realise that it is also one of the possible views, then do not be hesitant to agree with them. This not only motivates the other individual, who might be as nervous as you, but also shows how social and amicable you are. It makes you come across as an approachable individual, which is surely set to yield you another brownie point!

8. Make eye contact

A lot of times, people fail to make eye contact with someone due to several reasons, ranging from nervousness, fear of judgement,etc. However, not having eye contact with the person you are speaking to is seen as bad manners.It comes across as a sign of disrespect and students often forget about such things during stressful situations like GD rounds. It is, therefore, important to always maintain a soft eye contact with people when you speak your views across, and when you are being spoken to. This shows that you possess good people skills!

9. Leadership in GDs is NOT aggressiveness 

Oftentimes, people make the grave mistake of being hyper and aggressive during GD rounds while trying to keep their views on top of others, or simply defending them with a new found aggression. This should be avoided at any cost! Group discussions are held to assess your personality, and how calm, confident and vocal you are. Being aggressive is a negative trait that you should never portray during GDs. Not everyone is going to agree to your views, and you won’t be liking everyone’s views either, but the trick is to never let it affect your temperament. The panelists look for individuals who know how to acknowledge different views than their own, and treat everyone with respect and dignity. Therefore, always stay calm and collected during GDs, for calm and collected individuals are highly appealing. 

10. Speak with conviction 

Lastly, practice to speak with confidence and conviction. If you want people to listen to you and what you have to say, you have to say it like you mean it with utmost confidence and poise. How you deliver your ideas and how you take charge of the discussion, and influence others is of grave importance during GDs. Therefore, practice speaking confidently in the mirror, or in front of your friends, so that when you go for a GD, you can impress everyone with your demeanour and words!

Group Discussion rounds are an important selection process which can make or break the deal, as not only your scores in the paper, but your personality matters too. It is important to brush up your skills and learn new tips which can help you get ahead in the race. We hope you utilise these tips and get the best results in your next GD. All the best!