After placements the next most frequently heard word in college is this big boy! Group Discussion is a handy tool for interviewers to fish out the bold and bright. Fret not, cracking the code – GD is here! Don’t treat it as another one of those lists you mindlessly read online. I strongly believe we have argumentative and persuasive skills inbuilt in us. Using it in the right way will not just take you places, but in this case fetch you placements too. Now don’t give me that I’ve never argued with anyone is my life face. Bickering with siblings over anything and everything, talking back to parents and time pass quarrels with friends comes under this clause. A GD is not about biting each other’s head off by merely disagreeing to what other people say. It is a subtle way of doing the above stated. Complicated much? No raising your voice or losing your temper while trying to prove your point. A calm smile and clear cut thoughts ought to do the trick.
The 10 step Modus operandi:
Rule #1: Colgate smile
From the moment you take your position to the time you leave keep a clam and composed face. We don’t need to see all your perfectly aligned pearly whites! A confident smile is a slight smile with a twinkle in your eye! Now your peers will know you are a bright spark and they have to watch out for you.
Rule #2: Posture
The GD is not in your living room and you are not watching TV here! No slouching. Sit up right preferably without crossing your legs. Confidence is what we are going for, not arrogance. Make eye contact with you GD members. After all it’s a discussion not a speech.
Rule #3: All Indians are your brothers and sisters
Don’t stare down or attempt to intimidate any of your fellow GD members. You have to spend the next 10-15 min chit chatting with them. Be cordial so that they feel comfortable to share their opinions with you, rather than attack you with them. This gives you an upper hand and you will find yourself having intellect transfer with many of them. Voila! Guess who’s under the spotlight now!
Rule #4: Don’t go with the flow
Think before you choose your stand. If the topic is a clichéd one, don’t choose a side blindly. Have a couple of logical reasons for picking your stand. This can be used in your argument later. After all, you are being judged on our thoughts and views. Hence, be discerning while choosing your stand.
Rule #5: Widen your horizon
The term “paper” doesn’t just stand for “assessment paper”, “semester paper” and “assignment paper”. Enhance your knowledge by reading the newspaper and magazines. You never know what piece of information will come in handy in times of need. Nothing is trivial! Keep your eyes wide open and absorb what is happening in the world around you. Substance (not referring to the intoxicating ones) is necessary to sustain the spotlight.
Rule #6: Don’t take a back seat
Don’t feel shy to start the conversation. Start with a general statement establishing your stand and define the topic. Fingers crossed that your perception of the topic is spot on. If you find that you may be a little off topic in the course of the conversation be smart about it. Don’t completely change your stand. Relate your current stand with the flow of the conversation. Be quick to formulate new points to talk on, in your head, and speak up. Variety is the spice of life! Expand the topic with your examples and personal experiences. For all you know a steamy discussion can come forth from it.
Rule #7: Do not digress
Referring to rule#6, use it to you advantage. When you sense the topic is digressing be the knight in shining armour to rescue it! Don’t overdo it and stop people from explaining their point.
Rule #8: GD is not a boxing ring and you ain’t Muhammed Ali!
Don’t sting people with your words! Be polite when you disagree with someone. Remember that what goes around comes around. On the other hand, don’t nod your head to everything!
Rule #9: Think fast!
Nothing much can be done for this, quick thinking comes with practise. Though showing your face in the Employability skills (Communication skills) class more often helps. (FYI: It is a 5th sem thing). The mock GD in class is very helpful.
Rule #10: You are not the wallpaper
Let your presence be felt in the given span of time. Like love and hate, genuineness can be felt! Be impartial in you statements! Let facts be facts and opinions be opinions. Come up with logical well thought through points. This is more than enough to steal the show. Conclude the GD if a conclusion is arrived upon. Be proactive and don’t wait for someone to conclude. Why leave that stone unturned! Since you are making your presence felt, might as well go for omnipresence!