Have you ever attended a group discussion and felt bad because you could not contribute to it confidently?
Maybe you felt overwhelmed and didn’t know how to begin the discussion or interrupt the flow of ideas coming back and forth!
Yes, I have been there myself. Sometimes I had nothing much to say, I was ill-prepared or worse, I just wasn’t listening to the discussion at hand!
Listening and contributing to a discussion go hand in hand.
That’s why in this week’s live session, I taught simple phrases that you can use to be actively engaged in a group discussion. You can watch it here.
I have grouped the phrases according to the direction you want to take. Learn the phrases below so that you can use them the next time you’re in a group discussion:
To start the discussion:
- We’re here to discuss…
- Let’s begin our discussion…
- Shall we begin?
- Let’s get started.
To express your opinion:
- It seems to me that…
- I think that…
- I am sure that…
- I feel… / I don’t feel…
- I believe that…. / I don’t believe that …
To signal the end of your turn:
- That’s all from me.
- I think you get the idea.
- I think I’ve made my point.
- And so on.
To ask for an opinion:
- What do you think?
- Do you agree?
- What about you?
- What’s your take on / view on / opinion on this?
- How do you feel about…?
To express your agreement:
- You’re right.
- I think so.
- He may be right.
- I agree with you.
- I see your point.
- That’s a good point.
- Sounds like a good idea.
To ask for clarification:
- I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what you mean by…
- What do you mean by…?
- Could you explain that to me again?
- May I know why you said…
- I’m not sure I understand your point. Do you mean to say that…
- Could you give an example?
To reject an opinion:
- I see your point but… / and…
- I understand your concern but…
- That’s interesting but…
- You have a good point, however…
- What a silly idea.
- That’s nonsense!
To express your disagreement:
- I disagree / I have to disagree.
- I don’t think that’s a good idea.
- The problem with that is…
- Sorry for interrupting, but…
- I’m sorry to interrupt, but…
- Before I forget…
- Can I add something here?
- Sorry, can I stop you there?
- Sorry to interrupt, but I think we should get back to our topic on…
- Excuse me, can you please repeat what you have said?
To express you have nothing to share:
- I don’t have any view on this.
- I think you’ve covered everything.
- Let me get back to you on that later.
To come to an end:
- Let’s conclude, shall we?
- Looks like we have come to an agreement.
- I think it’s time to wrap up our discussion.
- Let’s bring this discussion to a close.
To summarise and conclude:
- In short,…
- To sum up,…
- Let me summarise the key points.
- Let’s go over the main points.
- To conclude…
Close with a thank you:
- Thank you for your time.
- Thank you all.
- Thank you very much for your attention and participation.
My final tip is to remember to listen, be prepared, do your research and always have an intention to be contributive and helpful.