MBA aspirants preparing for group discussions (GD) may wonder about the importance of general knowledge (GK). In entrance exams like CAT, XAT, MAT or SNAP, GK questions may be random and require precise, factual answers.
However, in GDs, GK is important as it helps to provide opinions and analytical skills on a topic, which may include current affairs related to business and the economy. Lack of content or creativity may hinder one's performance in fact-based or abstract GDs.
Although topics are chosen to ensure diversity, some may inadvertently favour specific streams like commerce or economics. Working professionals may also face disadvantages due to their long absence from formal academics. In such cases, participants may use different tactics to overcome challenging scenarios.
Group discussions (GD) are essential to many competitive exams, including job interviews, entrance exams, and more. One of the most challenging aspects of participating in a GD is the possibility of encountering a surprise topic. It can be nerve-wracking to face a topic you are unprepared for, but it is essential to remain calm and composed during the discussion.
This article will provide you with tips and tricks on how to handle surprise topics during GD effectively. The article will cover various aspects such as preparation, staying calm, and structured communication.
Preparing for Surprise Topics
Stay Updated with Current Affairs
Staying updated with current affairs is crucial for participating in a GD. You must read newspapers, watch news channels, and follow credible online sources to inform yourself about the latest developments. This will help you understand and analyze the topic presented during the GD.
Read and Practice
Reading and practising various topics will help you improve your communication skills, develop critical thinking abilities, and enhance your knowledge of diverse subjects. You should read books, articles, and blogs on different topics and practice speaking about them. This will help you in feeling confident while speaking on a surprise topic.
Mock GDs are an excellent way to prepare yourself for the real deal. You can participate in mock GDs with friends, family, or colleagues. This will help you improve your communication skills, understand the dynamics of a GD, and practice your speaking abilities. You can also record your mock GDs and analyze your performance to identify areas of improvement.
Take a Deep Breath
When you encounter a surprise topic during a GD, taking a deep breath and calming your nerves is essential. This will help you think clearly and present your thoughts in a structured manner. Deep breathing will also help you slow your speech and avoid stuttering or stammering.
It is crucial to listen carefully to the topic presented during the GD. This will help you understand the topic and identify the key points that need to be addressed. Listening carefully will help you avoid misunderstandings and present your thoughts coherently and logically.
Analyze the Topic
After listening to the topic, it is essential to analyze it carefully. You should try to understand the context, the objective, and the scope of the topic. This will help you identify the key points that need to be addressed and present your thoughts in a structured manner.
During a GD, there will be counterarguments and opposing views presented by other participants. Acknowledging these views and presenting your counterarguments respectfully and politely is essential. You should avoid getting defensive or aggressive and maintain a calm demeanour.
Maintain Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact is an essential aspect of effective communication. During a GD, you should maintain eye contact with the other participants to show that you actively listen and engage in the discussion. This will also help you establish a rapport with the other participants and build trust.
Use Simple Language
Using simple language is crucial for effective communication during a GD. You should avoid jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to everyone. Using simple language will help you in presenting your thoughts clearly and concisely.
Speak Clearly and Audibly
Speaking clearly and audibly is essential for effective communication during a GD. You should speak at a moderate pace, enunciate your words clearly, and ensure your voice is audible to everyone in the room. This will help you convey your thoughts effectively and engage the other participants in the discussion.
Confidence is critical when participating in a GD. Even if you are not well-versed in the topic, you should remain confident and composed. This will help you present your thoughts effectively and convince the other participants of your point of view.