Individual Narration is an important part of Stage I (Screening) at the Service Selection Boards. For this, you are required to narrate the story which you have written based on the picture shown to you (PPDT Test). This part is also equally important to get screened-in as each one of you will be assessed individually. Individual Narration actually assesses a candidate’s ability to put his/her words confidently in front of the whole group.
Each candidate will be given 40 sec to 1 minute to narrate his/her individual story. The time given is not generally fixed as it will depend on the strength of your group. So be advised that if more candidates are there then less time will be given.
Let’s now discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of Individual Narration in detail.
Do’s Of Individual Narration
- Practice narration in advance (but don’t mug up) as you’ll be getting sufficient time after the PPDT phase and starting of GD, so exploit the opportunity to the fullest.
- Before narration starts, try to form the story again in your mind. Just keep the basic theme of your story same as what you have written. Give familiar names to main character & other characters of your story so that you don’t go blank while recalling. Try to give the ages of the characters in round figures for easy remembrance.
- Individual narration can be used as tool to showcase your confidence, tactfulness and communication skills without much hindrance as the whole group will be focussing on you.
- Practice at home the way the original exam is conducted. Contact your friends or like-minded people to form a group and practice the group exercises together as it can save you from getting nervous.
- Always address the complete group. Make eye contacts with all the group members while narrating your story.
- Your narration must be loud enough so that it is audible to everyone in that room. Modulate your voice as required. Try to make your story sound interesting to the other candidates.
- Try to showcase your qualities through the story and don’t think it as a story writing competition where usage of good words or wonderful phrases is a prerequisite. Such stories might get neglected if the basic needs of PPDT are missing.
- You must be looking relaxed. Keep your back resting on the chair & keep your hands on your knees.
Don’ts Of Individual Narration
1. Avoid Memorizing Your Written Story
There is no need to memorize your story as you’ll be having the ready reference available with you (PPDT sheet). You can always refer to it while narrating your story. So don’t stress out and keep yourself relaxed and calm. If you try to memorize your story and miss few things while narrating, you will get nervous for sure which may lead to your rejection.
2. Avoid Addressing Single Candidates
A group normally consists of 15-25 candidates. You are required to narrate your story to the whole group. Do not (repeat Do Not) get stuck on to just few candidates who nods their head or seem to be listening actively. If you have candidates on your both side, you need to turn your face to both sides to look like that you are addressing the whole group. Also never ever look at the assessor.
3. Avoid Wasting Time In Greeting Everyone
Don’t waste your time in wishing the assessor or your group members. However, you will be briefed about this before commencement of activities. So listen to the instructions carefully and follow them by heart.
4. Avoid Using Hindi Language
If you are attending AFSB, then you have to strictly follow only English language. However for army & navy SSBs, the preferable language is English which means you may use Hindi language. The language to be used for narration is English, but you can use a word or two of Hindi but switch back to English as soon as possible.
5. Avoid Looking “Disinterested” When Others Narrating
When other candidates are narrating their stories, look at that person. Don’t act indifferently by looking at the floor or to the ceiling. Do not look at the assessor either. Assume that they don’t exist. You must listen to every member’s story carefully so that you can add some points or suggest some change referring the candidate’s story during group discussion.
6. Avoid ‘Offending’ Body Postures
Don’t make your body too rigid (as if getting ready for a war). Never ever cross your arms or your legs and don’t tap your foot on the floor. Keep yourself presentable & don’t offend the person in front of you.
7. When You Cross The Limit…
If you overshoot the time limit allotted to you for individual narration, one of the assessor will say Next. You should then understand that your time’s up and you must not utter a single word thereafter. Don’t try to add few words or line to your story as it will again add negative marks to your portfolio!
After the Individual Narration and Group Discussion is over, the assessors will ask everyone to leave the room. Stand up quietly, keep your chin up and walk straight out of the room. No need to wish or thank any one.