“Group Discussion” is a term that that throws most job seekers into a tizzy because it’s a criteria used by most organizations for selection. Not only does it help in mass elimination but also validates the candidates’ ability to communicate. However, it is not something to be scared of because at the end of the day it is just a discussion! All one needs for this is a focused and planned approach.
We have often heard that first impression is the last impression, so trick is to give a perfect start to your discussion. A good start is one that not only lays the foundation to what you want to say but also shows your professionalism. Since it’s a discussion you may sometimes agree or disagree with what a fellow speaker said, therefore starting statements for a GD can actually stem from there.
Initiation- If you have strong content and accurate facts to support your content, then go ahead and initiate the discussion by explaining the topic and using phrases like- ‘In today’s world’, ‘ In my opinion’, ‘ I believe’ and so on.
Agreement- One of the most common means to start a discussion is agreeing with what a fellow participant said and start by reiterating your stand with sentences like- ‘I agree with my friend’, ‘I do feel the same as my friend thinks’, ‘You are completely right, ‘I second you on that opinion’, ‘I too feel the same’ and many more.
Disagreement- Do you remember when you last disagreed with your friend on something and how that was followed by a great discussion! It is no different here. However, you must tread very carefully here and not be too aggressive or get too personal with expressing your differences. Statements like, ‘I do not support / oppose your point of view’, ‘I have a different opinion on that’ can be used.
Interruption- Interrupting someone while they are talking may not sound like a very pleasant way to start a discussion. But if a wrong fact was stated or you think a particular point is being over elaborated you can always check them. Remember to use the word ‘Sorry’ at the beginning of sentences like, ‘Sorry to interrupt you there’.
Partial Agreement- Agreement does not always have to be complete; it can be partial along with being a great conversation starter too. Use of phrases like, ‘I agree with you to some extent but’, ‘You are right, however,’ will be ideal in this situation.
Adding Points- Any discussion takes its due course as more and more points are added. Therefore starting with sentences like, ‘You are correct to that I would like to add something’, ‘In addition to that’ serve as both, a conversation starter and give the opportunity to add more points without being repetitive.
A Group Discussion is a heady mix of agreeing, disagreeing, interrupting, partially agreeing and adding points. So why not use these very ideas to start your discussion!