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


the hills shire demographer huffington post Melbourne cartodb career GPO generations increasing densification award winner trades sports social trends professional services Sydney trend tuesday wealth and income distribution census Research Director brand experience February 16 Macquarie University meetings states social issues Do It Yourself micro New South Wales training personal growth screenage optus housing growth business index demographic trends the great screenage TED earn home ownership Hills Shire Council acf15 rain growth Sydney keynote speaker Australian communities live the dream census results local property market holidays social impact 10 years household visual NT Real Estate ACF 2016 23 million owning a home economy google personalities Wodonga gen z casual 1968 futurist innovation office opening organisational culture dreams hello fresh millenials dare to dream australian communities trends report young people high density living divorce rate analysis offenders geomapping lifestyle suburban living repayments micro apartments events culturally diverse NFP event daily commute train baby boomers keynote speaker christian unemployment trends IT Specialists product mother's day teleworking 40 million Channel 7 forecasting 2020 Northern beaches Event 2015 growing population safe social research social enquiry future proofing global Tuesday Trends ethnography technology nfp online royal influence spend Scouts 2016 census winter blues in the media student workplace JOMO entrepreneurial Australian Communities Trends Queensland Tasmania thought leadership communities urban living Sydney Hills Business Chamber purpose eliane Australian Population faux-ciliser Financial Planning Association Res Vis university future proof poker master 24,000,000 norwest australia grandparents google for education youth friendship hills etiquette new york times baby name predictions priorities urban royal baby Aussie ipswich social lives overcast 1980 online shopping volunteering data baby names australia report ultimo volunteer careers staff social commentator woolworths Deaths contiki socialising ACF17 debate panel storytelling mortgage community engagement socialites ACF2017 cloudy days dessert market research wealth inequality 2016 census results media activity Mark McCrindle the average aussie aged care future of shopping local communities australians staying home more meals keynote hopes CBD buildings James Ward hobart learning styles Christchurch generation alpha Channel Seven bus baby name trends future of work survey cancelling event learning Western Australia national wealth new office princess charlotte celebration cultural diversity census data wolloomooloo social media office space FOMO post rationalism moreton bay teach grave decision easter cancelling plans land of the middle class budget vegemite participants home owner internship Northern Beaches Christian School hills shire omnibus focus groups blaxland Royals 2013 housing affordability teacher in depth interviews outsourcing shifts investment interactive australian social research Andrew Duffin 2012 innovative engagement workplace culture emerging technologies brands cold twentyseventeen tv sydney metro national crime rates earnings government marrickville brisbane year 12 ABS state data ACF christianity census 2016 VET sector NEETs volunteering high density daily telegraph ferry optus my business awards wedding father's day australian communities forum average aussie NSW emerging generations mentor learn baby name living baby names report Research Executive millionth educated infographic wall SMSF forum consumer brand work politics faux-cilising list cars christmas sydney hills digital Wellington population milestone conference cash apartments proactive religion Queensland: QLD global generations snapshot domestic property census fail Christmas presents January 26th focus group intern housing trends New Zealand gig economy plans challenge PSI 1975 Christmas lunch kate middleton TDE gender men work mates sunny days low density non profit thrive the hills gig financial fears public holiday not for profit slideshare narcissism collaboration renting dreaming youth unemployment authenticity ACT change professional development relational children work-life entrepreneur education sector tea mining boom breakfast forecast trends of 2017 social researcher tips marketing commute future teaching eliane miles jobs mccrindle Vocational education income "know the times" divorce conferences FPA sydneysiders Kirsten Brewer the changing face of Crime Rates employment speaker affordability community consumerism clothing culture population map Territory conference speaker leadership workshop sydney event insights balance visualisation housing market entertainment emerging trends trend housing NBRS Architecture population conference presentation infographic global financial crisis poor entrepreneurs of today professional professional presenters school satisfaction sector aussie culture travelling megatrends neutral bay perth statistics alpha Births mccrindle in the media energy rent mobile WA Gen Y vegetarian qualitative research world investing students video going out insight suburbs local community australian research services education Gen X Australian community trends language wages lalor park story ease of travel society trends hornsby car Australians sydney speaker Valentine’s Day System's Architect paying to work spirituality winter earning crime mccrindle research click cost royal family Skilling wellbeing easy rider Engineering Manager ashley mckenzie communications staying in public speaker TAS case study media commentary know the times relevant mccrindle tea Australian Dream village seasons crows nest goals tattoos child care communication #censusfail school students recap VIC cica water shopping sydneysider HSC weather young australians commuters investor graphs research report families wealth and income society professional speaker house price Financial Planning Week area wealth distribution newspaper jobs of the future researcher The ABC of XYZ school unaffordable McCrindle Speakers pharmacy research visualisation social change Duchess of Cambridge business performance education future social life generational trends Canberra leadership litter australian real estate shbc teachers pharmacies financial future logan healthy future households Tuesday Trend Australia Day 2017 the australian dream ageing couple Christmas season baby boom responsive schools students apartment charity demographic Merry Christmas urban taskforce SA experience internet bondi population growth mateship life South Australia survey design moderators guide impact financial follow generation 24 million group cost of living showreel changing face of sydney happiness debt rule keeper DESTEL goal travel food sustainable Kiwi social customer facts research data victoria shopping centre Education Future Forum collaborative data visualisation study belief NBRS Australian demographics Wagga Wagga curiosity salary mythbusters public speaking toys pyrmont World Water Day property price equip names financial planning high density apartments chairty Population Clock Australian Census 2014 VET suburb demographics environment social researchers publication charities tableau potts point mythbusting TED talk education future report home holiday sentiments summer annual income sunburnt country financial independence REIV National Conference future-proof ageing population presentations Work place social analysis Northern Beaches fears bureau 2017 Love leader not-for-profit Assistant Store Manager weekly earnings year 7 faux-cilise demography sun motivate organisations New Zeland group session gen alpha CPI financial dreams networking residents australian community trends report Real Estate Institute of Victoria DIY high school business small business care support renter of the future money report rising house prices family transport identity workshop stay home Australia Day rise of local manly national private wealth resilience coffee EFF royal education research city waverton program presentation sector wide university degree Caregiver learner greatness Australia street demographic transformations ideas media mover and shaker friends Australian schools SRE schools TEDx baby names middle class social shifts employers cooking typical australian wage The Daily Edition award Geoff Brailey Australian Bureau of Statistics media release internships generation Z selfie economic average sydneysider house prices tuesday sector wide study future of education social commentary Charlotte faith Financial Planning Association of Australia fresh medicine monarchy dream optimistic define educhat quote townhouses English news parenting sydneycity marriage millennials long weekend deloitte aged care puzzle Bathburst cancel plans builders criminal Aussies infographics Adelaide Myth Social Trend Generation X church Generation Y office capital city Australian Trends prince george data analyst speakers pack cultural diveristy supply and demand rental stress resource trends analyst SMART stats communicate real Word Up retirement world youth day shopper's pick Northern Territory engage REIV Conference women choice workers results speakers wealth marriages Hornsby Shire Council average Australian house price rise trends of 2016 research pack 2016 environmental scanning 1994 finance gold coast baby Netflix affordable research skills ashley fell Australian Families community event capital cities rich event workforce tertiary education Australian Home parents urban living index house volunteers darwin anzac menai