How to Speak in Group Discussions

by jyothi

Hi Diana, How can I speak in group discussions better? I always fail in group discussions. They say that I always make mistakes when combining words and sentences. Can u advise me?

Hi Jyothi,

This is a good question. How do you communicate well in group discussions? It is much more difficult than a one to one conversation.

Why are group discussions so difficult?

Well, the main problem is that you have more people involved in the conversation, and there are more opportunities for the subject/topic to change.

Imagine that you start a conversation about your dog. Your dog is really smart and loves to play. Your friend agrees and says your dog is really cute. Then another friend reminds you that he wasn't so cute when he ate a pair of your shoes.

You remember those shoes and remind everyone how much they cost. Over €300. Everyone thinks you are crazy. "I'd never spend that amount of money on shoes", says one friend.

You use this as an opportunity to remind them that just the other day they spent €500 on a jacket.

Then someone asks your friend where they got the jacket from...etc etc.

You start a conversation about your dog and you end up talking about Jackets from Zara.

Group discussions are also a challenge because people interrupt more. In most cases you will not even finish your sentence or idea before someone offers their opinion or wants to share a similar story.

So, how do you deal with group discussions?

Do not be passive! The key to a successful conversation is to be an active participant in it. If you are sitting there NOT talking, you are not involved and it is much harder to concentrate and contribute when you are not speaking.

-Ask questions.
-Confirm information.
-Offer your own experiences.
-Offer exclamation expressions to show you are listening and involved... way, get out of here, that's amazing, that's terrible, that's hilarious, that's ___________, really?!, wow.

But...the number one way to be successful in group conversations have more groups conversations.

Practice really does make perfect, so forget about your limitations and put your embarrassment aside. Get talking and you will notice a difference!

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