Differences in Debate and Group Discussion

Differences in Debate and Group Discussion

Differences in Debate and Group Discussion

We often take part in debates and group discussions, in our schools, colleges and offices which are not only important for ourselves, but also purify one’s thinking and help in understanding different perspectives. People often get confused between the two, but debate is a form of contest, in which one of the two sides wins.

In debateall team participants get a chance to express their views on a particular topic and whichever side has stated the more influential and factual points, then wins.

Otherwise, group discussion involves face-to-face communication between participants, where they interact verbally, share, initiate and discuss ideas and views, to arrive at a consensus.

Debate is also a form of discussion on a particular issue that is attended by a number of people to express their opinions. Formally, in a debate, the group is divided into two teams – one for or against, while the other against.

With both teams, there are judges and spectators. The audience judges the quality of the facts and arguments presented.

It really helps in building the confidence and self-esteem of the participants and also improves public speaking skills.

Furthermore, the debate is driven by certain rules, which are agreed upon at the outset. It is being judged and one side wins while the other loses. It is started by the affirmative team, i.e. those who support the subject, followed by the team against it and the pattern continues. This way, each team gets a fair chance to fend off the opponent’s argument.

In the debate, each speaker is given a certain amount of time to present their points and answer questions posed by the opposing team. Then there is a warning bell to give them time to finish which is followed by a final bell.

Group Discussion can be defined as an extensive technique, used to assess a person’s fitness with respect to related criteria for employment, acceptance, etc. This is intended to refine the views of the participants.

It is used to analyze the whole personality of a person such as thoughts, views, behavior, emotional intelligence, perspective and so on. In this technique, topics are given to members for discussion and the exchange of information and ideas takes place systematically. Candidates are appointed in such a way that they face each other.

The judging panel observes, compares, and forms opinions about the participants, based on their intellectual, social, leadership and communication abilities.

Skills needed in Group Discussion:

  • Communication level
  • Behavior and interactions in groups
  • Open minded
  • Active listening
  • Conclusive presentation of views
  • Leadership
  • Thinking
  • Subject knowledge
  • Ability to handle people
  • Body language
  • Critical thinking
  • Trust

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Maintain eye contact with fellow participants while speaking.
  • Start a group discussion
  • Allow others to talk, don’t interrupt others while they are talking, instead make notes of conflicting points and discuss them when you’re done.

  • Clarity and politeness in speaking
  • Control your volume and speed while speaking
  • Get the discussion back on track, if the group deviates from the topic.
  • Always be positive, don’t try to dominate anyone.
  • Speak wisely
  • Subject details are preferred while intimate details about the event should be avoided.

  • Dress formally and avoid a casual approach.

The difference between debate and group discussion can be clearly described in the parameters below:

  • Group discussion is an analytical and interactive process, where the expression of thoughts, ideas, opinions, and facts is carried out through open communication between participants. On the other hand, debate is a contest or systematic discussion on a particular issue, in which participants present opposing arguments and end with a final decision based on votes.

  • Debate is a kind of contest so it is competitive, while group discussion is a cooperative process.

  • In a debate there are two opposite sides – affirmative (support) and negative (against). On the other hand, there is no such party in the case
    group discussion.

  • In a debate, the participants tried to persuade their listeners, with evidence and arguments. On the other hand, in group discussionthe members aim to share ideas and exchange facts and information with fellow members.

  • In debate, both teams can talk about the issue one by one where they can lead the argument further and also fight the questions raised by the opponent. In addition, a certain amount of time is allocated for each participant to speak. On the other hand, in group discussion there is no such thing as a turn, a candidate can express his opinion every time the person speaking has conveyed his point.

  • Debate involves winning or losing, whereas group discussion is about expressing one’s point of view and respecting the other’s point of view.

  • In debate, the speaker must speak in support of the topic. In
    group discussionparticipants can freely express their views to their group, no matter their opinion supports or opposes something, and participants are also allowed to defend their opinions with logical reasoning.

  • Group discussion does not result in a final conclusion or decision but consensus is reached at the end. On the other hand, in the case of debatethe final decision is based on voting.

  • In debate, participants talk about certain topics only. In group discussiondiscussion arguments can take different directions, but deviations should be avoided.

Red Thread | Both debates and group discussions facilitate the assessment of individual communication skills and play an important role in academic, professional and administrative fields.