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How to Start, Lead and Conclude a Group Discussion (GD)?

Akansha Sirohi
Akansha SirohiUpdated On: November 20, 2023 04:59 pm IST

Group Discussion is one of the most important parts of the admission procedure to the top MBA colleges in India. With a few simple tips, you can learn how to start, lead and conclude group discussion in order to perform well in the GD round.

How to Start a Group Discussion

How to Start, Lead and Conclude a Group Discussion (GD): The MBA admission procedure of most of the top MBA colleges comprises Group Discussion (GD) rounds to analyze the awareness, preparedness, communication, analytical, logical, and leadership skills of applicants. It is very important to qualify the GD round in order to qualify for Personal Interviews (PI). Group discussions play a major role in deciding whether a candidate possesses the qualities and knowledge that are required for management courses or not. It is a great opportunity for MBA aspirants to convince panelists of their conversation skills, wit, awareness, and knowledge. Group Discussion (GD) round at all the top B-schools usually begins in the second week of February and goes on till the end of March. While most of the IIMs do not have a Group Discussion round, some of the top MBA colleges such as FMS Delhi have reintroduced the GD round in the final selection process of the top MBA colleges.

The most important question in the minds of MBA aspirants is how to initiate, lead and conclude a group discussion. Apart from being aware of the trending GD topics for MBA admissions, you have to set the right attitude to crack GD rounds during MBA admissions.

Also Read:

Preparation Tips for Online GD / PI for MBA AdmissionsGroup Discussion (GD) Topics for MBA Admissions 2024
GD, PI, and WAT Preparation Tips for CATWhat Not to Do During GD/ PI?

Tips to Ace a Group Discussion (GD) 

Students can go over the pointers given below to familiarise themselves with the tips and tricks in order to leave a great mark in a group discussion:

  • You should keep pace with modern events, global occurrences, problems concerning India and the planet, and so on, so that you can express your thoughts and opinions when inquired.

  • To react appropriately in a group conversation, you must have perseverance and impactful listening abilities. Remember that the discussion panel is comprised of individuals from the college administration who are only there to select the best. As a result, even minor errors can cost you a lot of money.

  • The best way to approach every scenario is to confront it. As a candidate, you will no longer take a single entrance tests and depend on it for enrollment. Every student takes at least 4 to 5 tests, such as the CAT, MAT, XAT, SNAP, CMAT, and NMAT by GMAC, among others.

  • If you are self-assured about your entrance exam performance, you must receive more than 2 to 3 discussion invitations from universities. I will advise students to consult Manorama Yearbooks and read them in order to cover general understanding and current events subjects.

  • You should read the editorials in The Hindu and The Indian Express, which provide a detailed look at the problems that Indian culture and politics encounter on a regular basis.

  • You should tune in to debate live performances on English news networks such as Times Now and NDTV 24X7. This will give a better idea of how to proficiently interact during a GD session. Even talk shows about current events and social issues can be a good resource for observing and learning.

How to Crack Group Discussion (GD)

There are some simple tricks and strategies that you can follow to ace the group discussion round. Find out more about the group discussion round and how to initiate, lead and conclude a group discussion below.

  1. Leadership Skills
  2. Listening Skills
  3. Interpersonal Skills 
  4. Convincing Power
  5. Presentation Skills 

Also Read: IIM Interview: Important Documents and Tips to Crack Personal Interview

How to Start a GD

By beginning a Group Discussion, you not only get an opportunity to speak but also get to grab everybody’s attention. Beginning a GD gives you an edge over other candidates as you get maximum uninterrupted time to share your views and p skills to the examiner as other participants are still busy in understanding the topic. Also, while initiating a Group Discussion, you should not state the wrong facts or stammer.

How to Start a GD
  • Communicate Fluently: If you are starting the GD, make sure that you present your views fluently. Try not to stammer as being confident about your point-of-view is of utmost importance.
  • Focus on Relevance: It should not seem that you are starting the GD just for the sake of beginning first. Your points should be relevant to the topic and must grab the attention of the participants.
  • Grab Attention: You can also start the GD with a shocking statement, question, quotation, definition or facts. All these things can be used to present your take on the subject in order to lead the GD further.
  • Keep it Short: If you are indeed planning on starting the GD, make sure that you do not overelaborate on your points. Present your views in the most precise way possible as the evaluators are not looking for a story.

It is very important to understand that leading the GD is the best way to start as it gives you the undivided attention of the participants as well as the GD regulator. Starting a GD also gives you uninterrupted time to put up your points while other participants are thinking. However, if you are starting the GD, your points have to be very relevant.

Also ReadGroup Discussion (GD) Topics for MBA Admissions 2024

How to Disagree in a Group Discussion?

When it relates to conflicting or expressing opposition, an assertion backed up by solid evidence is required. People frequently engage in discussions for the sake of engaging in them. This could result in awkwardness so you need to stay calm and peaceful while expressing your disagreements.

  • Importance of body language
  • Politeness and voice modulation
  • Never make it a personal 
  • Always try to be a good and attentive listener

How to Enter a GD in the Middle of the Discussion

In order to enter the group discussion in the middle of the discussion, it is best to address any questions that may arise beforehand.  
  • Listen intently – In case you are planning to start the GD, keep your ears open and observe what the other speakers are talking about. Listening not only gives you positive marks but also gives you an insight into what the other participants think about the topic and you can prepare your points accordingly. It is immensely helpful if you don’t understand the topic.
  • Target the low points – There are high and low points in a GD, i.e. when the discussion is at its peak (high) or when the contestants have concluded their point (low). You have to target the low points and glide into the discussion effortlessly.
  • Continue where the participants have left – When a participant is done putting up his or her point, you can jump into the conversation and talk about why you agree or disagree with their points and put forward your views.
  • Express dissent – Putting forth unpredictable points is a crucial part of the GD. If you have a different take on the subject or have something new to present, you should put it forth very clearly with reasons.

How to Stay Active Throughout a GD

You can demonstrate your communication and critical thinking abilities to university admissions teams or prospective employers through group discussions. 
  • Bring new ideas – To maintain your place in the GD, you will have to express points about the topic that the other contestants have not mentioned. This will help you get the attention of the GD regulator and score some extra points.
  • Be perceptive – In case you don’t have any new ideas, you can present a different perspective on the points that the other participants have presented. Share your views about the points that have been talked about so far in a different light to present your point-of-view and support your argument.
  • Stay on track – You can also make your come-back in the discussion by bringing the discussion on track if it is deviating from the topic. This will help you to lead the discussion and nail the group discussion.
  • Be convincing – You can also convince the other participants to get back in the discussion. Eye contact, agreement and body language are the best tools to win the favour of other participants and lead the discussion in the direction that you want.

Also Read:6 Types of People You Will Find in a Group Discussion

How to Conclude a GD

Knowing how to conclude effectively is the most crucial part of the GD round:  
  • Summarise all the points – The best way to conclude is to summarise all the points that you have discussed in brief and present your final take on the subject being discussed.
  • Be concise – Make sure that you don’t drag your conclusion. Keep it as short as possible and try to mention the points clearly. Don’t mention any new point in the conclusion just support what has already been spoken about.
  • Closure argument – Make the closure around the main idea of the topic and be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. All your points should build up the conclusion.

The most important thing to remember about the GD is to not mention any figures or data unless you are absolutely sure about its accuracy. You should not stay quiet in the GD for too long. Active participation is of utmost importance.

Also Read:GD, PI, WAT Topics for MBA Admissions

While putting your points, try not to appear like a dominator, allow other people to speak. Don’t attack people while speaking and maintain a calm aura through the discussion. Keep the above tips in mind and you’ll do excellent in the group discussion.

Topics for Group Discussion (GD) 

Given below is a list of the most important topics for Group Discussion:
"No One Wins in a War": A Group Discussion PerspectiveNarayana Murthy's Call for a 70-Hour Workweek: A Debate on Pros and Cons 
India’s Solar Mission Aditya-L-1: Another Success Story in SpaceIndia Middle East Europe Economic Corridor
Global Space Economy: Can India be a Leader?Women Reservation Bill
India Semiconductor Mission: Why is Chip Manufacturing a priority for Modi Government; Economic ImpactChina Plus One Strategy: How India can Benefit from Global companies adopting China Plus One Strategy
‘One Nation One Poll’: Benefits are More for IndiaChandrayaan 3 – Benefits for India & Management Lessons
India to overtake US as world's second largest economy by 2075: Goldman Sachs ReportUniform Civil Code: History, Benefits and Concerns, UCC Bills
Digital Personal Data Protection BillUniform Civil Code: History, Benefits and Concerns, UCC Bills
Work From Home: Desirable and Dream Job option for Employees?Cricket Vs Other Games in India: Is Cricket killing other Sports?
Foreign Universities in India: Will it raise academic standards and benefit Indian students, parents?Government to set up National Digital Library of India (NDLI) for Children and Youth: Can it replace Physical Infrastructure?  
India overtakes China as the world's most populous country: Is Population a Boon or a Bane?World War 3: Will Russia Ukraine Conflict result in Third World War?
Digital Public Goods (DPG): India’s approach and opportunities for the WorldUnion Budget 2023-24: Expectations & Key Highlights
Women’s Premier League (WPL): A positive for Indian Women & Sports?Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM): Making India Cashless? 
Unemployment in India: Unemployment Rate Reaches highest level in 2023National Green Hydrogen Mission launched; Can India lead the world in Green Energy?
G 20 - India Presidency in 2023: History, Plans, Expectations and RoadmapNational Logistics Policy: Will it Reduce Costs & Improve Competitiveness of India
Air India Disinvestment by BJP Government & Acquisition by TATAs: Selling Family Silver or Saving Taxpayer’s MoneyCentral Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): Impact on Indian Financial System & Cryptocurrency
Will Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) disrupt E-Commerce, and become the next UPI and Aadhaar?SUPER APP in India – Will TATA NEU work? Do customers want Integration or Decentralization
Semi-conductor Crisis - Why it is Critical, Reasons for Shortfall (China-Taiwan Conflict) & how India can safeguard?Gujarat Govt Has made The Bhagavad Gita Part of The Syllabus. Should a Religious Text Be Taught in Government Schools?
HDFC and HDFC Bank Merger: Big becomes bigger – Impact on Indian Banking & Industry?NATO, G7, EU and other bodies are not effective in maintaining Global Peace & Order
National Startup Day & Startup Boom in India: Are Unicorns Real or just Paper Tigers? NSE Scam: Misuse of authority by former CEOs Chitra Ramakrisha, Ravi Narain for NSE Co-location Fraud and many others – Are Indian Public Institutions safe?

Positive Task Roles in a Group Discussion (GD)

Here are some positive roles that will help you get points in a group discussion. Make sure you are 

  • Initiator – Starting a Group Discussion, giving definitions and introducing and suggesting new ideas.

  • Information giver – During GD sharing facts and information.

  • Information seeker – In a Group Discussion, gathering and soliciting information from others.

  • Opinion seeker – Asking other participants of the GD for their opinion.

  • Procedure facilitator – Leading a GD round by keeping track of the discussion.

  • Clarifier – Clarifying all the opinions and ideas discussed during a GD.

  • Opinion giver – Giving your opinion in a Group Discussion on the statement provided by the other participant.

  • Tension Reliever – Discussing and Presenting the problem from a broad perspective.

  • Social Supporter – Giving support to ideas and suggestions of all participants of a GD.

  • Compromiser – Creating harmony between different opinions by giving compromising solutions.

  • Energizer – Encouraging other participants to explore some new ideas during a Group Discussion.

  • Gatekeeper – Involving other participants/ members in the GD by asking for their opinion

  • Summarizer – Concluding or Summarising a GD by including all important points discussed during a Group Discussion round.

Negative Task Roles in a GD

Following are some roles that you should avoid at all costs during a GD.

Negative Roles in a Group Discussion
  • Disgruntled non-participant: Someone who does not contribute to the group discussion.

  • Dominator: Someone who takes control of the discussion and does not let others speak during a group discussion.

  • Attacker: Someone who disapproves the opinions of other participants in a group discussion aggressively.

  • Clown: Someone who does not take the group discussion seriously and disrupts the discussion through inappropriate humour

Candidates may also check out the articles mentioned below to know more about MBA admissions and the different stages of the selection process.

Related Articles:

WAT Tips & Tricks for IIMs and Top MBA Colleges

Extempore Speech in MBA Admissions: Topics, Tips

How to Build Your Profile for MBA Admissions

Tips to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams


Candidates who have any query related to group discussion round may ask questions on the Collegedekho QnA zone. For admission-related assistance, fill our Common Application Form

FAQs

What skills are required to crack a GD?

The most crucial skills required to crack a GD are communication skills, cooperation skills, leadership abilities, analytical skills, confidence, and persuasion skills. Extensive knowledge on the given topic and current affairs also enhances one’s participation in the GD.

What are the positive task roles in GD?

Some of the positive task roles in a GD include opinion giver, clarifier or elaborator, initiator or contributor, summarizer, and evaluator. An initiator is responsible for proposing ideas, providing information, or suggesting solutions to problems. An opinion giver shares personal viewpoints or beliefs along with arguments to support them. 

How to start a GD?

Before starting to speak on a particular topic, give a brief introduction of yourself that includes your name and any relevant background. State the topic of discussion and clearly outline the objectives of the discussion mentioning the aspects that must be covered. Do not forget to provide a concise introductory statement to express your initial thoughts on the topic provided. Adhere to time constraints and allow everyone to speak. 

What are the rules of GD?

It is important to maintain a respectful and polite attitude towards the other participants. Do not interrupt when others are speaking. To ace a GD, one must pay close attention to what the other participants are saying to show respect. Expressing one’s thoughts clearly and concisely, sticking to the given topic, and avoiding unnecessary details are the keys to ace a GD. To enhance your credibility and engagement in the discussion, maintain good eye contact and a positive body language.

How to stay active throughout the GD?

To respond effectively, candidates must pay close attention to what others are saying. Remember all the key points or ideas that are being discussed to contribute appropriately to the GD. Establish your presence, share your thoughts and opinions, and ensure others have the opportunity to contribute their views. Apart from these, know how to build on the points made by other speakers.

What is a Group Discussion?

The candidates are seated around a table in a group of seven to twelve people. Then, the group is given a topic to think about and talk about for a specific period of time. One or two panelists or moderators observe the discussion unfold and evaluate each candidate based on predetermined criteria like personality traits, teamwork abilities, and general awareness. Scores are assigned and candidates are shortlisted for further interview rounds based on their performance in groups as well as individually.

What are the negative roles in a Group Discussion (GD)?

Negative roles in a GD become barriers in the progress and diminish the effectiveness of the discussion and it include dominator, aggressor, blocker, distractor, withdrawer, monopolizer, etc. A dominator aims to monopolize the discussion and does not allow others to speak. An aggressor attacks others’ opinion through usage of aggressive language or behaviour instead of discussing ideas with them. 

How to disagree in a Group Discussion (GD)?

It is crucial to express one’s differing opinion respectfully and constructively while disagreeing in a GD. To disagree effectively, it is important to maintain calmness and start the statement with polite expression and then present your differing perspective. Provide relevant facts and examples to support your disagreement. You should not use offensive language or make personal attacks while disagreeing.

What are some important topics for a Group Discussion (GD)?

Some of the most important topics for a GD include:

  1. "No One Wins in a War": A Group Discussion Perspective
  2. Narayana Murthy's Call for a 70-Hour Workweek: A Debate on Pros and Cons 
  3. India’s Solar Mission Aditya-L-1: Another Success Story in Space
  4. India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor
  5. Global Space Economy: Can India be a Leader?
  6. Women Reservation Bill
  7. India Semiconductor Mission
  8. China Plus One Strategy
  9. ‘One Nation One Poll’: Benefits are More for India
  10. Chandrayaan 3 – Benefits for India & Management Lessons

How to conclude a Group Discussion (GD)?

To conclude a GD effectively, provide a brief summary of the key points and highlight the most important aspects that were discussed during the GD. To remind others of your contribution to the discussion, restate your position and reinforce your perspective. Present an amalgamation of different perspectives and arguments to show the interconnectedness of ideas discussed in the GD. Finally, offer a conclusion, express gratitude and end on a positive note. 

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