A good level of general awareness will come in handy so that you aren’t at a loss of words on certain issues. Understand the topic and analyze it mentally before speaking. Be clear about the purpose and content of your viewpoint. One should be able to communicate his views in an effective manner to everyone. Be clear in speech, audible but not too loud and above all remain confident.
Remember the six C’s of effective communication - Clarity, Completeness, Conciseness, Confidence, Correctness and Courtesy.
You should maintain eye contact with all others in the group and not focus on a particular person for he may benefit from that. Be responsive to ideas from other people and seem to be very receptive and open-minded but don’t allow others to change your own viewpoint…
Starting the discussion is considered to be good however it isn’t that important; what is important is that you speak for a period long enough for you to be able to communicate your viewpoint.
Always maintain your calm and never get aggressive. If you haven’t been able to talk then one can cut in saying “Excuse me, but what I think is ……….” or something of that sort. Never lose your temper and never attack anyone on a personal front. Your attitude should be one of cooperation and not one of conflict. Don’t lose sight of the goal of the discussion. Listen to any criticisms and give them a thought before trying to defend your views.