Starting a Group Discussion

The best way to impress the moderators in a group discussion is by initiating it effectively. Starting a GD is the most crucial step in the whole discussion process since it is a grand opportunity to display your leadership aptitude in front of the selectors.

A group discussion is conducted to test the soft skills such as communication, listening ability, leadership, group cohesiveness, analytical ability and so on of the candidates taking the test. It is one of the mandatory steps in selection process in most of the B schools. So when you commence a group discussion, you have the perfect chance to mould the conversation in your direction by providing a base for the debate. That is why starting the dialogue is considered the most important part of any group meeting.

Ways to start a GD?

Every person may have his own way to commence a group discussion. It is best if you hit upon some innovative approach to begin the GD. That said, it is not possible always to be artistic and sometimes there is petite scope for creativity in a subject. Even under these conditions there are some calculated ways to start a discussion.

We list some of them here,

General statement: Most people introduce a subject by making a general statement about it. Some examples may be: Poverty is a burning issue in the modern world; Cinema is the face of contemporary society; Sun is the nearest star to our planet. The idea is to elaborate the topic once it is put before the participants.

Data and factsheet: A more practical approach to the topic would be to present some related data before you make any claim about the issue. This helps many a times to draw the attention of the audience in an attractive way. The only problem with this method is that you ought to have the correct and updated knowledge on the topic to be discussed. Avoid presenting irrelevant or excessive data to prove your expertise.

Shock statement: Make a starling or bizarre revelation about the topic. The start would be quite impressive if the participants come to know something new about the matter they are about to discuss in a few moments. You can then proceed with you view while the audience is still thinking on the newly found secrets on the topic. Never present a wrong statement to shock the audience or you may be shocked to see the result of the GD.

Start with a story: A story is a wonderful technique to initiate a group discussion. Narratives have excellent power to bring-about the subject matter without making any obvious statement. Sometimes children tales or parables may prove to be stronger in proving a point than any other method applied. Only be sure that the lesson of the story presented coincides with the discussed issue.

Contradictory remark: Sometimes, the strategy may be to make a statement opposing the provided idea and then going forward to prove why it was wrong. This method demands high-quality analytical and argumentative skills and pays off only when you prove your assumption as false. This method is also interesting as it provokes your competitors to raise their fingers and then force those fingers to go down again.

Things to keep in mind while initiating a GD

Take the initiative only when you think you have proper idea set and know-how of the topic in question. Rushing to grab the opportunity may even bring out your weaknesses before the moderators and make you appear like a dupe. Recollect your thoughts first and then put them with full authority and sanctity. Always try to deal the matter with different angles and avoid being too critical or harsh at the onset itself.  Don't take too long to think else some other participant may run away with the cake. Under any pressure, however, never conclude your stance on the given topic. If ever you do, make your stand on the issue only a part of the whole outlook provided in the opening speech.