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


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