In group discussions, many students are uncomfortable with abstract topics. The main reason for this is that, unlike other GDs, abstract topics lack a concrete substance.
The interpretation of the abstract topic is left to the candidates. For example a dot, Dot can be interpreted as focus, it can be coined as a full stop or an end, etc.
Single-line remarks, phrases, idioms, and quotations are the most common topics for an abstract Gd. Participants must comprehend the given statement or a word, search for hidden messages, and make appropriate inferences.
Because an abstract issue might be interpreted in various ways, many students are hesitant to provide their opinions on the subject in the GD, with a fear that the interviewer might not like the point and think of your opinion as irrelevant. There are also many options to say in an abstract GD and you need to select the best point to impress your interviewer.
One must have the confidence and clarity to present one’s point of view and to steer the conversation. An abstract topic is a fantastic opportunity to showcase one’s creative thinking and catch the attention of recruiters, making the next step in the process, the interview, much easier.
Managers and leaders are judged by their ability in not just dealing with their everyday job, but how they handle pressure when faced with uncertain circumstances, where in the beginning, it might be difficult to make sense out of things, but eventually crack the way through and lead their team, company and group from confusion to clarity, with a plan in mind to approach it.
When a panelist places an abstract topic in front of the candidates, they know that there is no one definite answer or side to the topic. It is all left for the interpretation, imagination, and creativity of the participants to take it up and keep the discussion on. They judge the candidates based on their confidence with the topic, how quickly they come up with an example to explain the topic, and how many angles they can use while the discussion goes on.
The key is to not panic or get disheartened and speak your heart out on how you think of the topic.
Remember, you don’t have to be a master of a topic to ace an abstract topic discussion. You can use simple examples from your daily life to explain them, by keeping a confident face and clear communication skills, and you would have done what a successful participant does. From there on, it is up to the requirements of the panelist to make choices.