How To Prepare For MBA Group Discussions?

Group discussions are popular tools used for judging people. For participating in a Group Discussion, one needs to do a good amount of preparation. As a person you could be great with discussions and communication but for communicating effectively in a Group Discussion you need to get prepared well in advance.

Preparing for a Group Discussion could be really demanding and is surely not a day’s job and may even involve months of preparation together. The first and the foremost step towards your GD’s preparation would be, building up your awareness level. You need to be very well posted about all the current happenings across the globe. For this you need to get your hands on business dailies like ‘The Economic Times’, ‘Business Standard’ or ‘The financial Express’. Of course this will keep you informed about everything which is happening in the corporate world.

Read to build content:

Reading a newspaper should always involve reading the editorial sections well along with the main headings. It is the editorial matter which helps you to build on your content for discussion. Editorials also give you latest statistics which you can use in your discussion and also you get a deep insight on the current happenings across the globe. Reading newspapers has various other advantages as well. You brush up your vocabulary by adding new words to it often; it improves your English to a great extent which is of great significance in a Group Discussion.

Communication itself is a very broad term and plays a major role in winning in the discussion. It involves learning voice modulations, apt use of punctuations and expressions while speaking, flawless English, use of hand gestures and a proper body language. All this together comprise what we call as an effective communication. Communicating effectively is an art which develops only through proper practice and skills.

Be analytical:

The next thing to learn for a Group Discussion is to build and polish your analytical skills. As per the normal convention, in a Group discussion you either speak for the motion or against the motion. So, you have to be analytical enough to choose your stand and justify it as well. Group Discussion calls for skills to weigh the pros and cons of every topic.

The next thing to aim at is to get yourself engaged in doing quality talks rather than focussing on talking more. You should aim at picking up some key points related to the topic which will make your presence felt. Always remember it is what you have spoken that matters and not for how long you have spoken.

Being proactive works:

For winning in a Group discussion you really need to be proactive in your approach. Being proactive means taking the lead in the discussion. Sometimes during the discussion the participants get deviated from the topic or sometimes the discussion gets stuck at one point, in such cases taking a lead in bringing the discussion back on to the track will obviously fetch you more marks. It will also show that you have the talent of leading a group, so your leadership skills get reflected in this process.

Knowing the topic well helps you to discuss the varied aspects related to the subject. If the discussion is for a given amount of time then you can always take the lead for summing up the discussion at the last. The preparation for a Group Discussion also involves learning the practical aspect of it. During a discussion, you should always try to avoid any kind of confrontation with any of the participants. Also, being aggressive about getting your points accepted could be really dangerous. You have to learn to keep aside your emotions while discussing in a group. Also, be it any kind of discussion, never let the things get personalized.

Your body language should be absolutely positive:

When the discussion is initiated, then make attempts to participate in it as soon as you get the opportunities to do so. Your body language should be absolutely positive during the entire discussion because non verbal communication makes the most of the communication, so it’s obvious for the Group observers to make a note of it. While talking the eye movement should always be sweeping and not stuck on just one person. You have to make everyone feel that you are discussing in a group and not just with one person.

Group discussions are a great way of testing team spirit, leadership qualities, communication skills, analytical and logical skills and lastly the knowledge of the subject. One has to keep all this in mind while preparing for a Group Discussion. As such there are no written set of rules to follow in a Group discussion. The most of it depends on what group you are having a discussion with. If it’s a very formal discussion than of course the points have to be spoken humbly and accurately. If it’s an informal or semi formal discussion, then of course one can relax a bit and discuss at ease.

Modus operandi should depend on the type of the discussion:

The Group discussions are held at various levels like for entry at college level or for getting a good job or for strategizing or decision making at management level. The purpose and the participants of the discussion vary at every level. Also, Group Discussions are done on varied subjects. The topics could range from absolutely technical to general current happenings or they could be spiritual, management related, abstract, based on sayings or quotations or could be anything. But the tact of winning the discussion remains more or less the same. One should just prepare oneself as per the basic points that we have discussed so far and the real modus operandi could be formulated only after the discussion has started.

With constant practice, after sometime you will be able to derive your own opinion or views on a topic and you would also be able to skilfully substantiate your views with some logical reasoning. This is when you will get absolutely comfortable with Group Discussion and you will be able to face them with the right approach.