How to Start a Group Discussion?

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How to Start a Group Discussion

Being one of the crucial stages in the selection and admission procedures, especially in university admissions in India, a group discussion evaluates candidates on the basis of their education, communication and overall personality. A staple part of MBA admission process, a group discussion is a topic-based discussion activity involving multiple participants. In particular, initiating a GD session earns you extra kitty points for starting with the discussion and also improves your scorecard before the evaluators. You do not just grab the attention of your fellow competitors but also seize the opportunity to showcase leadership skills. Furthermore, having an exceptional set of skills in terms of artful communicating, memorizing and analytical abilities can effectively sail you throughout the session. If you are keen to know how to start a group discussion, then just read on and make sure you adhere to all these points.

Check Out Our Detailed Guide on How to Prepare for Group Discussion!

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How to Start a Group Discussion?

Being given the role of initiator in a group discussion, you will surely get an edge over others since you have the chance to grab everybody’s attention and make a great impression from the start. But starting a group discussion isn’t as easy as it seems to be. It is beneficial to be the one to start a group discussion but it is also risky as it demands you to think on your feet and articulate an incredible starting line that can create an amazing impression. Here are the major steps you must follow if you are given the role of starting a group discussion:

Introduce Yourself First

As the initiator, it is pivotal that you introduce yourself before telling everyone about the topic. Use a simple beginning line such as “Hi everyone, my name is ____” and then come to the topic. Be confident while introducing yourself. When you introduce the topic to start a group discussion on, give a brief about what the topic is and then pass the baton.

Starting Lines for Introduction in a Group Discussion

  • Hi everyone, I am _____ (name) and I would like to introduce the topic of this group discussion.
  • Hello everyone, my name is ____ and I will be initiating the group discussion. I would like to ask a question from all of you. [Add a question here relevant to the topic]
  • Mahatma Gandhi said, ________ [or any other relevant quote] and this corresponds to the topic of our group discussion today which is _____. I am _____ (name), the initiator of this group discussion and would like all of you to present your opinions on this topic.
  • Good morning everyone, I am ______ and for today’s group discussion, we will be discoursing on the topic of _______.
  • Hi everyone, I am _____ and this group discussion will be focused on _____. First, let me give you a brief overview of the topic.

Related Read: Introduction in Interview – Tell Me About Yourself

Be Clear & Coherent

It is important that while introducing yourself and the topic, you must be fluent in your speech and do not stutter or stammer. If you are given a minute to prepare, try practicing the introducing line with someone or to yourself and remember that confidence is the key.

Present the Topic with an Interesting Take

Another prominent factor to consider in order to find the best way to start a group discussion is to present the topic in a unique manner to spark the interest of everyone. Though it is completely the case of spontaneity, practising as many Group Discussion topics as possible beforehand so that when given the opportunity to be the initiator, you can make the most of it. The most interesting ways to present any topic in a GD is to add a quote, fact or question to it and make it appealing accordingly.

Must Read: How Creative Thinking Can Help You In Interviews?

Efficiently Use your Time

Time management is also an essential thing to keep in mind as your introduction is only the beginning of the discussion. Don’t overelaborate or exaggerate the topic but instead be coherent and clear in your presentation.

Use Quotes and Questions to Begin

The most thought-provoking way to start a group discussion is to ask a question or add a famous and relevant quote to the topic. You can simply grab the attention of everyone as an initiator and thus lead a powerful group discussion by using a question on the topic.

For example, if the topic for the group discussion is “How Covid-19 has changed the education sector?”, you can begin with a simple question like “Does a pandemic hold the power to affect our education system?” and then continue with introducing the topic. Make sure that the question or the quote stays neutral and doesn’t really add to the pro or con side of the topic because as an initiator you must be unbiased in your introductory approach.

Here’s a list of best Non-technical Topics for Group Discussion!

Effective Ways to Start a Group Discussion

Given below are some amazing tips and tricks on How to Start a Group Discussion:

Understand the Topic First

No one knows what the topic of the group discussion might turn out to be. So it is also important that you keep yourself abreast of all the trending topics and current affairs going around in the world. After the GD Moderator announces the topics for the discussion, take a pause and try to understand what the topic exactly means and analyse the direction where the topic should be led towards. Misleading and ambiguous information right at the inception can prove to be a huge blunder. Henceforth, in case of any kind of queries or unclarity regarding the topic, ask immediately.  

Craft the Tactical Gambit with a Definition

Try to intrigue the attention of the competitors and the moderators by starting off with the definition of the keyword in the topic. For example, suppose the topic for a given GD is about capital punishment being relevant in today’s world. If you feel you have a grasp on matters of capital punishment, start right away by defining what ‘capital punishment’ is and then move through with it. Chances are that some of your competitors might not even know what the term means. This not just earns you some extra brownie points for commencing the GD, but makes an impression before the moderators that you at least have a basic knowledge about the subject matter.  

Start Off with A Famous but Relevant Quotation or Phrase

Starting off by quoting a relevant phrase or quotation from a famous person can help you show your command over the English language and literature. Not only quoting is an efficient way of starting a GD, but it also works as a confidence booster. However, refrain from quoting just for the sake of it as it might not work out as expected.

Shock Strategy is the Key

The reason why this point has been added to our list of How to Start a Group Discussion suggestions is because putting forth a shocking or eye-opening statement or statistic positively reflects on your in-depth knowledge of the subject matter along with being a great way to grab the attention of all your competitors. Strategically distribute your shock statements so that the GD always goes in your favour and you never lose your bit of attention. If handled well throughout the GD, it can create an awe factor for you to ride on! 

Lay Down Relevant Statistics & Figures

Laying down the correct and latest statistics is a powerful way to start off a group discussion. Stating some shocking figures not only makes you a leader in the discussion but also boosts your chances of selection. It gives the impression that you are well aware of the topic and have kept yourself up-to-date. However, if retaining the figures and statistics seems problematic, skip this step! Presenting a credible statistic is more important than a wild declaration.

Commence with an Anecdote

Mentioning anecdotes of not more than 4 to 5 lines can do wonders when you are confused about how to start a group discussion. A small excerpt from any famous story would reflect your presence of mind and also engage each and everyone to listen to your story. Remember, the story should somewhat relate to the actual topic of the group discussion and should not be irrelevant in any way. Otherwise, you could lose your brownie points with the GD Moderators.  

Start With A Question And Answer It Yourself

This is another effective way on how to start a group discussion. Frame a question in your mind and answer it all by yourself stating the relevant facts and details, rather than throwing the question at other candidates. This would help you take the lead in the group discussion and help you set a tone for the rest of the GD session. Try to frame only those relevant questions for which you have a properly detailed answer.

Starting Lines for A Group Discussion

While exploring the best ways to start a group discussion, gearing up for some starting lines will always help you prepare for this situation. Since many competitive exams are often succeeded by a group discussion, it is important to gear up for this aspect of the selection process of your chosen course or job profile. Here are some of the useful phrases-cum-initiation lines for group discussion that might come handy if you are given the task to start a GD:

  • “I would like to start by stating my view of the matter….”
  • “I would like to put forward the point that….”
  • You can start with a quote: “As X once had said…”
  • If you are giving a definition related to the topic: “______is defined as…..”
  • I am sure that some of you might agree on my point while others might not, but I would like to say that….”

Important Tip: Focus on the nouns, verbs and adjectives of the given topic and elaborate upon which will turn out to the best starting line for the group discussion.

Recommended Read: How to Crack a Personal Interview?

Bonus Tips for Cracking a Group Discussion Like a Pro

Courtesy: Dr. Sandeep Patil, YouTube

Here are some bonus tips for cracking a GD like a pro:

  • Dress formal to make a long-lasting impression of professionalism.
  • Maintain eye contact with the moderator. 
  • Avoid interrupting while your competitor is speaking. Everyone gets a fair chance to speak. 
  • No irrelevant and ambiguous commenting.
  • Try to avoid stammering and stuttering.
  • Keep your body upright and watch your body language. 
  • Be polite with your counterparts even if you do not agree to their points.

How to Interrupt or Enter a GD When Others a Speaking?

Now that you are aware of how to start a Group Discussion, let’s understand how you can enter a group discussion when others are speaking or interrupt in the middle. Here are the best tips to enter in the middle of a group discussion:

  • Choose the Right Timing
    It is very essential to know the right time when you should enter in the middle of a group discussion. You can either continue from the point where the last speaker left or present a different point of view by speaking up clearly.
  • Be Quick and Concise
    To present your views in the middle of a group discussion, you must be quick in grabbing the right opportunity and concisely put forward your views without letting space for anyone else to cross-question. This also means that you must have a strong point or a counter-argument to get an extra point by entering a group discussion in the middle.
  • Continue from the Last Speaker’s Views
    Another amazing way to enter in the middle of a GD is by continuing from where the last speaker was speaking. You can add on to their views, put forward what you think and leave any scope for others to question your argument this way.

How to Conclude a Group Discussion?

Concluding a group discussion can seem as difficult as starting the GD. To summarize a group discussion, you have to stay alert throughout the whole discussion, keeping all the key pointers in mind as well as understanding the discourse. Here’s how you can conclude a group discussion:

  • Present a Comprehensive Summary
    Note down all the key pointers mentioned throughout the discussion and then summarize the discussion by presenting all the important and relevant points discussed.
  • Add Relevant Observations
    You can also add relevant observations to the point of views presented while concluding a group discussion as this will help you earn brownie points for providing an analytical conclusion.
  • Include a Closing Argument
    Once you have summarized the points discussed, provide a closing argument weighing the both sides of the discourse.

Cracking a group discussion is not a piece of cake, however, if you know the basic tips and ways on How to Start a Group Discussion, you can improve your chances of selection and gift yourself a career boost. We, at Leverage Edu, are here to help you crack your interview and GD sessions so that you could give a tough feat to your competitors. Book a free 30 minutes career counselling session with our expert counsellors and attend a mind-blowing session. Hurry up! What are you waiting for?

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