Successful Group Discussion (GD) Tips

Successful Group Discussion (GD) Tips

GDs Judge Your

* Communication skills

* Interpersonal skills

* Negotiation and Convinving skills

* Assertive skills

* Empathy and consideration for others opinion

Skills to be honed for GD

* Self-control and patience

* Be friendly, warm and cooperative

* Speak intimately, informally

* Don't see others as adversaries

* Be receptive

* Appreciate the good points of others

* During heated arguments, be silent, then give a studied opinion and take control of the situation

Pay attention to

* What you speak

* When you speak

* How you speak

During the GD

* Try for sonsensus

* If there is a conflict, take control

* Give positive angle to the discussion

* Complement and consolidate

* Don't cry out or shout

Ending the GD

* Sum up the discussion with the observer's consent

* Add some points as your view

* Thank all

Post GD

* Shake hands

* Thank All

* Give oral but personal compliments to the participants

To flavour your participation in GDs, use the expressions like

* With your permission, may i supplement?

* May I intervene?

* May I add to that - May I Suggest?

* There is or can be another angle?

* While supporting what you said, may I add?

* with your permission, sir, may I sum up the discussion?

The Five-step formula for success in interview and GD

* Practice

* Dynamic listening

* Think before you answer

* Cite reasons,examples and anecfotes

* Make a confident ending

Let's go on to how GD is initiated and summarised

A group discussion can be categorically divided into three different phases:

i. Initiation/ Introduction

ii. Body of the group discussion

iii. Summarisation/ Conclusion

Let's stress on the initiation and summarisation:

Initiation Techniques

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 favourable 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.

If you initiate a GD impeccably but don't speak much after that, it gives the impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or
getting those initial kitty of points earmarked for an initiator!

When you start a GD, you are responsible for putting it into the right perspective or framework. So initiate one only if you have indepth
knowledge about the topic at hand.

There are different techniques to initiate a GD and make a good first impression:

i. Quotes
ii. Definition
iii. Question
iv. Shock statement
v. Facts, figures and statistics
vi. Short story
vii. General statement


Quotes are an effective way of initiating a GD.

If the topic of a GD is: Should the Censor Board be abolished?, you could start with a quote like, 'Hidden apples are always sweet'.

For a GD topic like, Customer is King, you could quote Sam (Wal-mart) Walton's famous saying, 'There is only one boss: the customer.
And he can fire everybody in the company -- from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.'


Start a GD by defining the topic or an important term in the topic.

For example, if the topic of the GD is Advertising is a Diplomatic Way of Telling a Lie, why not start the GD by defining advertising as, 'Any
paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services through mass media like newspapers, magazines,
television or radio by an identified sponsor'?

For a topic like The Malthusian Economic Prophecy is no longer relevant, you could start by explaining the definition of the Malthusian
Economic Prophecy.


Asking a question is an impactful way of starting a GD.

It does not signify asking a question to any of the candidates in a GD so as to hamper the flow. 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 a flow of ideas are always appreciated.

For a topic like, Should India go to war with Pakistan, you could start by asking, 'What does war bring to the people of a nation? We have
had four clashes with Pakistan. The pertinent question is: what have we achieved?'

Shock statement

Initiating a GD with a shocking statement is the best way to grab immediate attention and put forth your point.

If a GD topic is, The Impact of Population on the Indian Economy, you could start with, 'At the centre of the Indian capital stands a
population clock that ticks away relentlessly. It tracks 33 births a minute, 2,000 an hour, 48,000 a day. Which calculates to about 12 million
every year. That is roughly the size of Australia. As a current political slogan puts it, 'Nothing's impossible when 1 billion Indians work

Facts, figures and statistics

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

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

For 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 utilised $60 billion of FDI in 2004, which is almost
100 times that of its 1983 statistics."

Short story

Use a short story in a GD topic like, Attitude is Everything.

This can be initiated with, 'A child once asked a balloon vendor, who was selling helium gas-filled balloons, whether a blue-coloured
balloon will go as high in the sky as a green-coloured balloon. The balloon vendor told the child, it is not the colour of the balloon but what
is inside it that makes it go high.'

General statement

Use a general statement to put the GD in proper perspective.

For example, if the topic is, Should Sonia Gandhi be the prime minister of India?, you could start by saying, 'Before jumping to conclusions
like, 'Yes, Sonia Gandhi should be', or 'No, Sonia Gandhi should not be', let's first find out the qualities one needs to be a a good prime
minister of India. Then we can compare these qualities with those that Mrs Gandhi possesses. This will help us reach the conclusion in a
more objective and effective manner.'

Summarisation Techniques

Most GDs do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group decides in favour or against the topic.

But every GD is summarised. You can summarise what the group has discussed in the GD in a nutshell.

Keep the following points in mind while summarising a discussion:

   1. Avoid raising new points.
   2. Avoid stating only your viewpoint.
   3. Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD.
   4. Keep it brief and concise.
   5. It must incorporate all the important points that came out during the GD.
   6. If the examiner asks you to summarise a GD, it means the GD has come to an end. Do not add anything once the GD has been

Last but not the least

   1. Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself.
   2. A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to hear you speak.
   3. Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say.
   4. Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject.
   5. Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject.
   6. Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else's point and then move
      onto express your views.
   7. Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the
      discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
   8. Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
   9. Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently.
  10. Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis.
  11. Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion personally.
  12. Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object' or `I disagree'. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to
      share my views on…' or `One difference between your point and mine…' or "I beg to differ with you"
  13. Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak (this surely does not mean that the only thing
      that you do in the GD is to say "let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has to say," or "Raghu, let us hear your views" -
      Essentially be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
  14. If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through
      giving and receiving feedback.

Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities,
ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity.

Don't be disheartened if you did not do well in your first group discussion. The best possible preparation for a group discussion is to learn
from your past mistakes..

Comments (56)

jasjeet kaur
Said this on 11-1-2006 At 02:23 pm
good one
Said this on 11-17-2006 At 10:00 am
First i ve to thank for this website b coz i ve suffered a lot,thinking about "What i am going to do in GD",but now i ve many useful tips to move across GD.....once again a hearty thakns...,
Said this on 11-23-2006 At 09:53 pm
d article is excellent
Said this on 2-16-2007 At 10:15 am
Said this on 5-18-2007 At 09:13 am
sanjay vishwakarma
Said this on 8-2-2007 At 05:27 am
i m fresher ..i find ur artiole point to point & understandable
Said this on 8-3-2007 At 04:54 am
i,m a fresher ur article is wonderful and easy to apply being supplied in a point to point manner
Said this on 10-29-2007 At 12:36 pm
ravi arora
Said this on 11-3-2007 At 01:58 am
very good
Said this on 11-12-2007 At 12:25 pm
for freshers like me this article helps alot for sorting out the phobia of GD
babita nanda
Said this on 11-13-2007 At 10:13 am
very excellent
Said this on 11-21-2007 At 01:28 pm
the topic is very nice and useful for fresher's while they are facing a GD.
rajendra kumar panda
Said this on 11-30-2007 At 12:23 am
wants more infomations.
Said this on 12-10-2007 At 09:06 pm
yo thank's for the tip .......
Said this on 1-3-2008 At 12:12 pm
you can give an example of gd,and explain it ,
priyanka bhat
Said this on 1-13-2008 At 10:56 pm
its so helpful 4 freshers....i dnt have words 2 appericiate it...
Said this on 1-16-2008 At 05:55 pm
you can give an example of gd,and explain it.,but as i am fresher it is very helpful to me
Said this on 1-31-2008 At 01:36 pm
wow very nice
Said this on 2-4-2008 At 09:30 pm
It's very good for a fresher like will help while attending the placement
chandrapal tripathi
Said this on 2-11-2008 At 10:34 am
i am fresher pls send all the papers just like gd, english and technical .
Said this on 2-18-2008 At 12:15 pm
reslly nice ..
it has helped me a lot...
Said this on 2-19-2008 At 12:02 pm
excellent i think this info is sufficient to face the gd in interviews.thanks a lot.
Said this on 2-21-2008 At 07:00 pm
Very nice and useful to me.
Said this on 2-24-2008 At 08:47 am
its excellent & too helpfull for me .
thank u.
Said this on 2-25-2008 At 07:46 pm
IT IS OSSOM AND MASTH.i really came to know how to exhibit my gd in a professional way.
Said this on 2-28-2008 At 08:42 pm
Tips given in an Excellent manner. All the points are very relevant and if one follows he is sure to succeed in Group discussions. *****
Said this on 3-7-2008 At 11:03 am
Said this on 3-14-2008 At 06:04 pm
this would be best thing i have read about gd
megha p.g
Said this on 3-16-2008 At 06:19 pm
very good give more informations that will help for my interview.
Said this on 4-6-2008 At 11:13 pm
very good
sahil baghla
Said this on 4-15-2008 At 02:45 am
great ,to succeed follow given points ,excellent
Amit Jha
Said this on 4-18-2008 At 01:01 pm
ur effort will really bring some changes in the participants
Said this on 6-14-2008 At 03:31 pm
nice as i am a fresher it helps alot to me. if you clear it with an example it will be some more better to us. thank you so much.
Said this on 6-25-2008 At 09:23 am
this is excellent
Said this on 7-2-2008 At 10:28 am
i hope the above tips will be useful to everyone to get through the G D
Said this on 7-8-2008 At 05:41 pm
EXCELLENT sir, thank u for ur beautiful& useful tips for freshers like me. Once again i thank u sir.
dip ranjan
Said this on 7-17-2008 At 06:21 pm
dats awesome......really helped me a lot......
Said this on 7-18-2008 At 11:57 am
thank you very much for your tips. It helps me a lot as well as others.
Said this on 7-18-2008 At 07:57 pm
thank u sir for providing tips for gd in this seeing this site i have learnt lot of things n i known what mistakes i have done in gd's thank u so much for giving very very useful tips for gd thank u
Said this on 8-6-2008 At 03:34 pm
thank you sir for your tips which are very helpful for me nd for my friends we are just practeced as u say for us tanking you from all of us
Said this on 8-7-2008 At 11:01 am
first of all thanx to this site for provide us gud tips of gd.After read this i got that why i don't learn and speak.But now i learnt gud tips i will try to learn and also try to use this is my daily routine,again many thanx to this site.................
Said this on 8-12-2008 At 12:56 pm
Nice Description.It gives good guidence for participation in GD thanx
Said this on 9-23-2008 At 12:32 pm
it gives more guidence about is helpful for me Thank you
Said this on 9-25-2008 At 01:44 pm
it will help a lot of freshers..thanks for the suggestion.
Said this on 9-28-2008 At 10:51 pm
Said this on 9-30-2008 At 07:28 pm
i am realy thankig u for providing such an informative and systmatic site.
Said this on 10-6-2008 At 01:01 am
Very good and helpful, thanks and congrats
Misha Mukhra
Said this on 12-1-2008 At 03:23 pm
I found ur article fantastic as its easy to deal with & understandable.....
wajid aziz
Said this on 5-2-2009 At 12:52 pm
i want some idea about gd
vamsee naidu
Said this on 7-21-2009 At 04:58 pm
very good useful to beginers
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