From the experts
Opening and Closing a discussion
Opening a discussion is a high risk a high return strategy. In most GDs, the opening speaker is the person who is likely to get the maximum uninterrupted time. Therefore, the evaluators get the best chance to observe the opening speakers.Now this is a double-edged sword.
Speak first only if you have enough sensible things to say. Otherwise, keep yourself silent and let someone else start.
Opening and Closing a discussion
If the opening speaker talks sense, he will get credit because he opened the discussion and took the group in the right direction. If, on the other hand, the first speaker's start lacks substance, he will attract the undivided attention of the evaluators to his shortcomings. So speak first only if you have enough sensible things to say. Otherwise, keep yourself silent and let someone else start.
Try and summarise the discussion at the end. In the summary, do not merely restate your point of view, also accommodate dissenting viewpoints. If the group did not reach a consensus, say so in your summary, but remember, do not force a consensus. Forcing a consensus could end up working against you.
Entering a discussion
Identify the way to enter the discussion. In a loud GD where there are three or four aggressive participants, and where a number of people tend to speak at the same time, it becomes difficult for others to get a chance to speak. There is no foolproof solution to this problem. And such a situation is pretty much likely to prevail during the actual GD that you participate in. However, it is crucial that you speak. How can you do this?
So now that you are all set with the strategies for doing well in your GD, lets look at a few topics that have be posed in past GDs. Remember, these are only to help you prepare and donâ€™t expect them to be repeated!
Career Launcher share several GD topics that can be helpful in your preparation. Here are a few:
1. Our country needs more technocrats and less managers.
2. Management education is a luxury for a poor country like India.
3. Ends justify the means.
4. Women make better bosses than men.
5. Greed is an essential human quality.
6. Pollution control is a luxury for India.
7. Engineers joining management is a national waste.
8. Parliamentary democracy is an obstacle in the path of growth of the Indian nation.
TIME Education shared topics for each type of GD.
1. Economic Topics: Liberalization is leading to jobless growth
2. Social Topics: Dowry continues to haunt Indian brides
3. Political topics: Reservation issue is just to get a vote bank
4. Sports/ Media related topics: 1 Billion people, 1 silver medal
5. Sector based topics like in IT, Telecom, Retail: Retail boom spells doom for the local grocer
6. Concrete topics: Greed is good
7. Abstract topics: Deep blue is not blue enough
Click the links below to read the experts article on 'How to prepare for Group Discussion'. The experts are from India's leading MBA test prep institutes including T.I.M.E., IMS Learning, Career Launcher and PT Education.
This brings us the end of this piece on preparing for Group Discussions. Watch out for next part in this series offing a roadmap to prepare for Personal Interview.