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How to Effectively Start a Group Discussion

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Initiating a Group Discussion is a great way to draw attention to yourself – a very important move that has to happen sooner than later if you want to sail through the GD. However, starting the group discussion just for being the first to speak has its cons, as a weak start would invite other candidates to capitalise over your failures. Before, we get to how to effectively begin a group discussion, let’s answer an important question.

Why Should You Try to Be the First Speaker of a Group Discussion?

The person who first begins the Group Discussion sets the context for the entire group and also the discussion that will ensue. You are likely to get a larger chunk of uninterrupted time earlier in the discussion. If done well, your chances of clearing the group discussion stage become very high. A person who starts a Group Discussion is generally recognised as someone who does not shy away from taking initiatives or leading from the front. This is often the kind of trait that recruiters look for in a candidate. Moreover, the fact that you began the Group Discussion would make it likely that you had a sound knowledge of the topic that was presented to the group. The moderators will not fail to notice this. Finally, the first to start a Group Discussion is quite often the first person to be able to collate his thoughts regarding the topic and to present it to the rest of the group. Organisations need people who can think on their feet, and this is what is demonstrated when you become the first speaker of a Group Discussion.

Points to Keep in Mind while Starting a Group Discussion

#1 Set clear context. Since you are the first person to speak on the topic, it is important that you give out important details in a neutral perspective regarding the topic. This is especially of importance where topics are abstract in nature, and where the topic expects you to take a particular side or viewpoint.

#2 Don’t begin by stating a weak “I completely support the topic” or “This is an important topic to discuss on”. It shows that you started the group discussion just for the sake of it. Always ensure that your first line is a powerful one.

#3 Use quotes and facts that are quite impactful to the topic of the Group Discussion. At the same time, do not start with a quote for the sake of it as a quote in the wrong context is evident and will be frowned upon. Similarly, a wrong fact will also work adversely to your chances of sailing through the group discussion.

#4 Make sure that after initiating the group discussion, you do get involved at least 2 more times as otherwise it would look like you started the Group Discussion just for the sake of it and to gain the points that are usually reserved for the person who initiated the group discussion. While it is definitely a huge plus to start a GD, it is not the end of the road if you do not manage to. Ensure that you are part of the first 3 to speak in the group discussion. And never express disappointment if someone else was able to start the GD before you were able to.


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