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


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