As a regular reader of newspapers and magazines, content generation on normal topics was never a problem. The areas that I was afraid of, were- not speaking up enough in a GD or having too specialised a topic to deal with. To combat that, in the days leading up to the GD/PIs, I identified some of the most hot/current topics and prepared a 1-2 para summary on them.
I also attended a few mock GDs where I tried to overcome my fear of speaking. A lot of times, I felt that the GD was going completely off topic and I was becoming disinterested. The trick was in identifying when it happened and to either try getting the GD back on track or still keep on bringing my ideas to the table.
• You should have some polite phrases prepared- when you want to interrupt a person who is taking too much air time or when you want yourself to be heard, if the GD is turning into an outshouting match.
• Phrases like “I have a new idea”, help, since the group’s attention is now focused on you. But you need to back it up with a NEW idea!
• If you are speaking in the first few minutes, approach a topic in a structured manner- First try to get a consensus on the overall topic and then identify the problem and then try to solve it
• Keep a track of what others are saying. It will come handy if the panel asks you to summarize the GD. You CANNOT give your views at this stage, only the proceedings of the GD
• Try backing up your points with examples, however small
For: IIM Lucknow
Topic: Insanity is doing same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Number of people present: 9
People were not very clear on the topic. I tried to bring out the fact that perhaps the actual thing that you are trying to do is the same but you keep tweaking your means to get there. So, in effect you really don’t, or rather can’t do the same thing over and over again. I cited the insane number of trials that Edison undertook to finally come out with the light bulb. Also, I gave the example of the Greek Euro Zone crisis, where they are actually doing the same thing again but the fate is unknown. Later on I built upon other group members’ points.
(IIM Ahmedabad, Class of 2014)
Kartika is currently a first year PGP student at IIM Ahmedabad. She pursued her B.E. (Hons.) in Computer Science at BITS, Pilani and graduated in 2011. Kartika was among the top 21 entrants at IIM A and has always been a consistent academic performer. In her spare time, she can be found with her nose buried in a novel.