Qualitative Research; 5 tips for running group sessions

Monday, October 31, 2016

At McCrindle we run all kinds of qualitative research from in depth interviews, co-creation groups, ethnographic interviews and of course focus groups. Here are some tips for when you are running any kind of group session.

Make sure the questions flow

When writing the questions for the moderator’s guide, order the questions so that they take participants on a logical and sequential journey through the different topics you are exploring. Keep the most important questions at the start of each section in case you run out of time.

Come prepared and organised

Make sure the experience gets off to a good start by being organised and bringing everything you need and everything you think you might need. A focus group checklist helps to make sure that important items are not forgotten.

Start the way you want to finish

It is important to remember that you (as the moderator) set the tone for the group and create the ‘vibe’ you want. Try and make some light hearted comments at the start of the group and ask each person to introduce themselves to make participants feel comfortable.

Mix it up

The standard focus group length of 90 minutes can feel like a long time when it is limited to group discussion. Try using post it notes to get participant’s quick thoughts on topics, use a whiteboard for brainstorming and electronic voting technology to break up the discussion.

Keep calm and just listen

Participants are going to feel more comfortable if the moderator seems relaxed and in control. They can tell and appreciate when you are listening to them and giving them your full attention. Use your body language, hand gestures and encouraging words to show that you value and are interested in their opinions.

To find out more about the qualitative research we conduct, click on our updated research pack below or head to mccrindle.com.au

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


bus wealth and income public speaking community event research data friends office opening conference speaker teacher NEETs government vegetarian fears entertainment Queensland high density 2020 SA thrive renter of the future marketing sunny days motivate publication trend tuesday meals australian social research sydney metro work-life optus future-proof Australia Day digital social society trends internships housing affordability bureau winter blues tips insight society rise of local responsive participants DIY Mark McCrindle program trends analyst demographic transformations focus groups Australia Day 2017 families Births year 12 technology GPO healthy future quote high school crime google for education organisations collaborative long weekend visualisation innovative social researcher environmental scanning blaxland relational qualitative research NSW royal influence social commentator Education Future Forum economic forecasting land of the middle class data visualisation politics cancelling event gen z emerging technologies household office space baby boom TDE property baby name trends story skills The Daily Edition community engagement social impact investor Kirsten Brewer spend Australian Census global financial crisis jobs Deaths trend suburb etiquette ultimo middle class conference presentation research the australian dream suburbs young australians energy travelling father's day households social commentary wolloomooloo Northern Beaches house crows nest keynote wealth visual study princess charlotte not-for-profit emerging trends 1994 event ABS future of education pyrmont Research Executive gold coast omnibus REIV National Conference challenge demographic trends tea in depth interviews unaffordable vegemite environment mccrindle research focus group parenting manly census collaboration youth ease of travel media release home paying to work supply and demand annual income world youth day education future report World Water Day holidays emerging generations baby name life debt budget dream population growth cooking happiness millennials daily telegraph home ownership global generations growing population cars professional population milestone tertiary education aged care winter tableau sustainable PSI men in the media volunteers Northern Beaches Christian School communication trends social researchers Wodonga builders ACF 2016 faux-cilise authenticity DESTEL moderators guide Duchess of Cambridge church marriages holiday capital cities personalities sector wide study gen alpha child care rain "know the times" learner safe travel investing sunburnt country report nfp menai low density Northern beaches Event storytelling Australian Dream January 26th marrickville criminal communities optimistic Population Clock religion poor teach leadership urban taskforce Real Estate Institute of Victoria engage sydneycity workplace culture student generational trends business index ashley mckenzie coffee changing face of sydney online shopping trends of 2016 group professional development eliane house price rise monarchy futurist social change growth financial fears census fail panel selfie Word Up affordable rental stress REIV Conference typical australian average aussie plans wage clothing waverton names newspaper New Zealand pharmacies infographic wall media activity Generation Y women FOMO proactive economy urban Christmas presents employment Australian Home Channel Seven Financial Planning Week future australians staying home more Australian demographics Myth career demographer workplace workshop Tuesday Trends wedding daily commute Western Australia leader award FPA shopping internet interactive year 7 narcissism teleworking non profit market research logan property price media 1968 staff research visualisation follow consumerism investment Kiwi Res Vis research pack christianity Australian schools Canberra education future children insights 2012 dessert engagement housing growth Royals 23 million IT Specialists socialites new office youth unemployment 40 million Financial Planning Association of Australia hobart divorce rate royal dare to dream Aussies norwest rule keeper financial independence relevant CBD results aged care puzzle geomapping sydney event housing royal family suburban living baby repayments networking Caregiver wellbeing wealth distribution public speaker renting states townhouses cancel plans cancelling plans social media poker master mccrindle in the media home owner learning increasing densification living sydneysiders innovation generations young people overcast learn income hopes local graphs 2016 census results lalor park summer domestic water business meetings moreton bay educhat Australian Communities Trends Christmas lunch small business Generation X social shifts priorities know the times faux-ciliser easy rider staying in kate middleton sydney speaker survey design Tuesday Trend contiki February 16 experience offenders 2016 census media commentary resource earnings car workforce entrepreneurial 1975 financial dreams baby boomers house price ferry census 2016 commute local communities demographic news australia McCrindle Speakers parents prince george new york times survey outsourcing financial future world 24 million tuesday house prices the average aussie work mates tv future proofing mccrindle tea earn stay home mining boom school shopper's pick rising house prices Channel 7 high density living high density apartments award winner communications victoria stats VIC Geoff Brailey university resilience equip medicine greatness analysis Northern Territory transport case study 1980 divorce seasons mobile WA national wealth cost housing market Adelaide post rationalism work consumer schools thought leadership presentations Melbourne ethnography charity family communicate social lives culturally diverse video millenials area list careers slideshare debate HSC cultural diversity New Zeland NT goals state alpha toys organisational culture sector wide urban living index 10 years shifts click Netflix forecast researcher not for profit South Australia Australian communities intern christian celebration wealth and income distribution professional speaker identity change deloitte marriage weather darwin language cold social research 2013 lifestyle TAS curiosity neutral bay urban living grandparents Hornsby Shire Council earning going out owning a home public holiday personal growth group session Love forum affordability balance social analysis Merry Christmas Territory mythbusting students leadership workshop Do It Yourself teaching sports Christmas season huffington post community Valentine’s Day twentyseventeen mythbusters keynote speaker ACT entrepreneurs of today New South Wales salary fresh future proof ageing population map Sydney keynote speaker presentation sentiments shbc national private wealth cartodb Sydney 2014 real System's Architect product gender perth potts point Wellington global sun speakers Gen Y eliane miles office learning styles census results employers Charlotte statistics Social Trend JOMO teachers generation retirement unemployment The ABC of XYZ 2016 dreaming Aussie population christmas train tattoos recap entrepreneur weekly earnings brands Christchurch training professional services 24,000,000 cost of living rich australian communities trends report educated snapshot google faux-cilising customer define online Australians ageing population brisbane commuters food property market bondi baby names internship cash social enquiry Wagga Wagga megatrends wages university degree mortgage facts apartment Australian Bureau of Statistics baby name predictions goal ashley fell schools students couple pharmacy australian communities forum EFF woolworths culture brand experience generation alpha anzac hills shire easter jobs of the future hornsby capital city Australian Families royal baby Tasmania finance buildings ipswich #censusfail 2017 social issues the changing face of infographic Queensland: QLD residents cloudy days litter ideas school students Crime Rates village events trends of 2017 research services data SMSF demographics Assistant Store Manager English mccrindle social trends mentor rent education Financial Planning Association Gen X financial hello fresh conference Engineering Manager sector data analyst mover and shaker aussie culture mother's day mateship friendship Scouts education research education sector school satisfaction millionth socialising generation Z brand future of work conferences housing trends Australian Trends ACF city acf15 Bathburst optus my business awards national crime rates Real Estate 2015 social life