How to succeed at Group Discussions - Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion

How to succeed at Group Discussions

Group Discussions are a very important part of the placement tests and all other entrance exams. But, before we learn the right ways to perform well at Group Discussions, it is very important to unlearn certain things that we have learnt over the years.While we believe that these things help us sail through the process, they are actually the recipes to failure.

In this video we are going to see 5 beliefs which you need to drop immediately if you want to succeed in this round of selection process. And, then we are going to see the things that help you come out of your GD round with flying colours.

Belief #1: Initiator scores the highest

This is an age old belief which many candidates still carry. While initiating the GD does help you get the examiner’s attention, it can backfire you badly if you do not have anything relevant and substantial to say.

It is important to understand the responsibility of the initiator here. Don’t initiate just for the sake of doing it. An initiator is expected to introduce the topic properly and give it the right start. Someone who doesn’t know the topic well, makes the discussion stray in the wrong direction. And, in such a case rather than being rewarded for initiating the discussion, be prepared to be penalized for it. So, if you know the topic, take the lead but if you don’t know the topic, let someone else begin while you get your thoughts together.

Belief #2: Speaking more = More knowledge

Some candidates speak so much that they do not give others a chance to speak. This behaviour makes you look like an “attention seeker” or a “lime light hogger”. And let me tell you, both these are the negative traits to be labelled with.

A group discussion means, every group member must get an opportunity. Don’t try to eat away on someone else’s time. It is rude.

Pitching in 2-3 times with something substantial is sufficient. Rather than wanting to speak for a longer time, focus on organizing your thoughts. The more organised your thoughts are, the lesser time you’ll take and more effective you’ll be.

Belief #3: Speaking loudly = High Confidence

It’s important to be audible but it’s not required to be loud because it makes you sound aggressive and intimidating which are again negative traits that you don’t want to be labelled with.

Belief #4: Good Language = Tough English

You’ll see a lot of candidates using such tough words that other participants won’t even understand. Group Discussion is not the place to flaunt your vocabulary. Don’t make the other candidates run for a dictionary because your objective is to take the discussion forward and let everybody participate. So, speak in a very simple language with correct grammar that can be understood by all. Similarly, don’t use any tongue twisters and also mind the speed of your speech - Don’t speak very slow or very fast.

Belief #5: Stuffing facts and figures = Well Read!

While facts and figures do substantiate what you say and showcase your knowledge, overloading the discussion with figures becomes very repulsive. You’ll sound mechanical and robotic rather than a human being. Provide the figures but don’t overdo it.

You can use approximate values, if you don’t know the exact figures. It is not really required to be accurate till the decimal value.

Ok, now that you know the things that can hold you back from performing well at the GDs, let’s see certain things that’ll help you propel:.

1. Good knowledge & Relevancy

Good knowledge and staying relevant to the topic are definitely the most impressive qualities required to do well in a GD. Some topics are selector’s all time favourite. Make sure that you have prepared them well. Also, keep yourself updated with the latest happenings in the world or anything controversial in news during the year.

My website, has a huge collection of all types of GD topics - Traditional, Social, Political, Abstract – Actually everything you would require. With a collection of more than 3000 topics, our GD section is one of the most updated ones on Internet.So, this is something you must refer to throughout the year when you are preparing for your Placements or Entrance Exams.

What I’ll do is provide a link to this section at the end of this video and also in the comments box below. Make sure that you see it after the video to get the right arguments in favour of and against all kind of topics that can show up in your GD.

2. Good Communication skills:

One of the most important qualities required in a GD is the Art of listening. It is only when you listen carefully that you would be able to contradict or support any thought.

Now, I have also seen a lot of candidates, who possess a very good knowledge but are not able to articulate themselves. So, for candidates who have difficulties with speaking effectively, here are two very useful exercises:

i.) Speak on a topic & record your voice in your mobile phone or any other gadget and listen to it. See, how you sound and fix the problems.

ii.) Stand in front of a mirror and practice speaking. If you don’t like how your words sound, pay attention to the movements of your mouth and lips & fix them. Videos on correct pronunciation of words, forming correct sentences, improving your voice etc. can come quite useful in this.

3. Alertness and presence of mind:

This is one quality that doesn’t go unnoticed and impresses the selectors tremendously. To be able to exercise this you should possess extremely good listening skills. Pay attention to the body language of other candidates and try to listen between the lines. This will help you not only in dealing with the objections or supporting the claims but will also give you an opportunity to showcase your social skills by supporting someone in need or stopping the group from getting distracted.

4. Goal oriented:

Every GD topic has a purpose and needs to come to a conclusion. But, with so many participants, it is very easy for the discussion to get strayed. Immediately get the discussion back on track if you see the group getting distracted.

Politely remind everybody that the expectation from the topic is so and so but we seem to be losing the focus.

You can use phrases like, “I would gently like to remind you all that the topic given to us is “this” which means “so and so”. However, we seem to be getting distracted by discussing “so and so”.”

5. Organized & Confident:

A candidate who takes an effort to organize his thoughts before the presenting himself is not just effective but also saves a lot of time allowing other members an opportunity to talk.

The best tools that come to your aid here are your notepad and pen. Before you speak, take notes of what you want to say and also of anything important said by other candidates that you want to back up or contradict.

With this, we come to the end of this video. The link to the GD section on is right on the screen. Click it to see the discussion on more than 3000 GD topics. If you have any other tips to perform well at GDs, do share them in the comments box below. Thank you and see you in the next video.
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  • RE: How to succeed at Group Discussions - Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion -Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion (07/16/18)
  • Group Discussion is held to gauge candidate's communication skills, presentation skills, knowledge and attitude. Those who showcase all these skills during GD round are the clear winners, missing any one of these skills toughens the chance to excel. So, figure out do's and don't of GD here in this topic and prepare accordingly.
  • RE: How to succeed at Group Discussions - Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion -Group Discussion (07/11/18)
  • The video is very helpful for the preparation of GD.
  • RE: How to succeed at Group Discussions - Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion -Do's and Don'ts for Group Discussion (07/06/18)
  • All the points discussed here are relevant and useful. This is a complete article on Group Discussion with amazing clarity. I'm sure many would be benefited as it presents nitty gritty of GD.