Grow your Vocabulary

“The truth was suppressed by the members of the Jury.”

“He deceived me although he was in good terms with me.”

The words in bold letters are different in nature from each other. One may be a verb, one may be adverb etc. but they are different in their meanings. Each word has its own importance  that suits the sentence according to the structure.

The term “vocabulary” has a special as well as a general meaning. True, all vocabularies are grounded in the everyday words of the language, out of which grow the special vocabularies, but each such specialized group possesses a number of words of peculiar value for its own objects. These words may be used in other vocabularies also, but the fact that they are suited to a unique order of expression marks them as of special value to a particular craft or calling.

In this respect the public speaker differs not at all from the poet, the novelist, the scientist, the traveler. He must add to his everyday stock, words of value for the public presentation of thought. “A study of the discourses of effective orators discloses the fact that they have a fondness for words signifying power, largeness, speed, action, color, light, and all their opposites. They frequently employ words expressive of the various emotions. Descriptive words, adjectives used in fresh relations with nouns, and apt epithets, are freely employed. Indeed, the nature of public speech permits the use of mildly exaggerated words which, by the time they have reached the hearer’s judgment, will leave only a just impression.

Ways to improve vocabulary can be:-

  1. Start by learning practical vocabulary.  Learn words that are actually important to you at work, at home and out and about.  Use stick it notes and label things around your home.
  2. Expose yourself to as much English as possible by reading, watching the TV, films or the news and listening to the radio or music.
  3. Read an English magazine. If you can afford it take out a subscription to a magazine or newspaper.
  4. Try to memorize whole sentences, not just individual words. When you have learnt a word, write about it in context.
  5. Create or play word games. Scrabble, Crossword Puzzles, Hangman etc. are all great ways to play with words.
  6. When you know you need to learn a particular word list for a test, start using the words immediately.
  7. Keep a notebook to help you remember what you’ve learnt.
  8. Build a vocabulary web to organize your vocabulary about certain subjects like your personal life, professional life, family friends and relatives etc.

Basic, Intermediate & Advanced Topics for GDs

Generally, a GD is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has got certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members. A group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for 15-20 minutes. Companies conduct group discussion after the written test so as to check on your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people. The GD is to check how you behave, participate and contribute in a group.

A Group Discussion or GD, as it is popularly known, judges the personality of a person. It assesses the behavioural traits in a person his or her leadership skills, social skills, team skills, problem solving skills and presence of mind.

If we analyse the two words Group and Discussion. ‘Group’ means a number of individuals and ‘Discussion’ means exchanging information on a certain topic and coming to a concrete conclusion.

While entrance exams test the candidates for their academics and knowledge of subjects, the GD will test one for their soft skills and their ability to cope with various situations.

GD also serves as a mass-elimination tool. When there are many candidates applying for limited seats, the GD can act as a benchmark to select the best among the lot.

So that’s why we can segregate GD topics into three parts namely Basic, Intermediate & Advanced:

Basic – These topics are meant for participants with basic knowledge of English communication or general knowledge or process or product knowledge. That’s the reason these topics are suitable for the first time speaker of English language or who has minimum comprehension and presentation skills.

E.g:- Love marriage Or Arranged marriage, Is Mobile a bane or a boon? Etc.

Intermediate – This level is appropriate for participants who have intermediate or medium level of understanding, comprehension and presentation skills of English as well as subject knowledge.

E.g:- Are women better managers?, Impact of advertisement on children etc.

Advance – Advance topics of GDs are made according to high intellectual and critical thinking level of participants. These topics are mainly given for job selections which require top notch skills of reasoning and presentation skills.

E.g.:- Management vs Employees, Professional or Personal at workplace etc.

Hence, we can say that Group Discussion is an invigorative discussion where a topic is analysed and discussed, and in the end, the members come to a fair conclusion. It involves team work, but at the same time, it portrays individual personalities.

Getting Ready for Presentation

Your pulse is racing, your palms are sweating and your knees are knocking as you step up to the microphone. You clear your throat, glimpse down at your notes, and feel all eyes focused on you. Your mind goes blank. You can’t remember how you wanted to start. Your heart pounds in your chest so loudly you’re sure the audience can hear it, and you swear to yourself you’ll never give a presentation again. And then you wake up.

As a leader or manager, you are going to give a presentation to a meeting, team, suppliers, customers and even maybe the general public at some point.

For many presenting is a real challenge. In fact some claim that presenting is the thing people fear most. Interestingly it is also claimed that death is number 6 on the things people fear most.

Fear of speaking isn’t a chronic, untreatable disease. While you may never avoid a flutter of nerves, you can learn to manage them at a comfortable level. The best, most fool-proof way to become comfortable and confident in the spotlight is to practice. Forget the old, inaccurate adage “practice makes perfect.” Practice makes prepared.

And yes, it’s true: The secret behind those speakers we label as “naturals” is preparation. There is no such thing as a born speaker, which means that you have the opportunity to improve your speaking skills no matter what your experience is.

So when you are getting ready to deliver a presentation, how can you get in the zone and deliver at your best time and time again? The truth is it will vary from person to person but here are a few options to consider.

  • Take a Brisk Walk

Now this might not work for everyone but what I have found that taking a brisk walk is a great way of getting in the zone. If possible give it a try.

  • Do Some Tongue Twisters

It is really easy to get tongue tied in a presentation. Using tongue twisters can be a great way of reducing the risk of getting tongue tied. Basically you repeat a phrase over and over, getting faster each time. Two of my favourites are ‘Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Pepper’ and ‘She Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Shore’.

  • Deep Breathing

Taking a really deep breath in and exhaling slowly can slow down your heart rate and calm you down. This is really helpful if you know that you have a tendency to gallop through your presentation.

  • Visualisation

Many people mentally go through and visualise themselves giving a great presentation. This is very common in sports but can be applied just as well to presentation preparation.

 

The truth is there is no right or wrong way to prepare for delivering a presentation and the key is to find what works best for you.

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