In this case, it is suggested to enter late. This would make you reasonably aware of the issues involved, enable you to take a thread and develop your view point. If you want to say something, then ensure that it is relevant and sensible. You can also identify new thoughts by looking at issues from your point of view (for e.g. if you are an arts student and the topic relates to software engineering, you could peak of the relevance of software in fields related to arts). There are other ways of participating in the GD, such as:
- Active Listening- through making notes and understanding the views expressed. Quite often the invigilators see how active and involved the participants are and active listening is considered as a good way of participation.
- Seek clarifications- Another way is to seek clarifications from the speaker. You may not have understood some part of what was said in which case you can interject with “excuse me, I didn’t quite get it… can you clarify the first/last part” or “are you saying that …….”.
- Play the role of mediator- as defined earlier in “What role should I play in the GD? Should I be aggressive, one who speaks less, a mediator or idea generator?”
- Summarizing the discussion- highlighting the key points that were covered in the discussion and any conclusion that might have been reached.
- Structuring thought process- by breaking down the topic into smaller parts and thinking through each part, one can easily identify a lot of angles which have not been thought of or discussed. So, if you do not have any idea about the topic, try and break it down into its parts (depending on the given topic).