I love the saying, "Keep it simple, silly!" When creating a focus group moderator's guide, this means creating a streamlined document that helps the moderator orient themselves and get prepped for a round of focus groups.
Many focus group moderators will tell you that focus groups can be time intensive to prepare for and take a lot of energy to conduct. With that said, why not make it easy for moderators and create a guide that helps them get orientated and stay on track?
Below are quick tips for creating a focus group moderator's guide.
Laptop? Check. Coffee? Check. Awesome focus group moderator's guide? About to be checked!
Focus Group Tip #1: Include Focus Group Details At The Top
Again, it's all about keeping it simple and straight forward for the focus group moderator, research analysts on-site, and client(s). At the top of the focus group discussion guide, include the date(s) of the focus groups, locations, and start times for each of the groups. This is particularly helpful when there is more than one focus group in different cities.
It seems simple and it's something the moderator will likely remember, but taking a few minutes to over prepare is always better than cutting corners.
Focus Group Tip #2: Include A Brief Description and A Few Specifics
For the brief description, include the goal number of participants for each focus group and a few key details about the groups. This could be locations, names of moderators, etc. When detailing a few specifics include the duration of the focus groups, how participants were recruited, and how participants were re-screened. Writing out a brief description and a few specifics of the focus groups will help keep everyone on the same page and on track.
Focus Group Tip #3: Create A Warm-Up
The focus group warm-up is where the moderator introduces the research, welcomes participants, and explains how the focus group will work. Here is also a good time to explain the logistics of the focus groups, like the two-way mirror and audio recorder.
Oftentimes, clients view the focus group behind a one way mirror and focus groups are recorded for reporting purposes only. These are both two topics that need to be addressed so participants feel conformable sharing their thoughts and opinions.
A warm-up is also a great time to ask respondents to introduce themselves to each other and ask a quick and easy ice breaker question like, "What's your favorite show?" This helps get everyone talking and acquainted with one another.
Focus Group Tip #4: Create A List Of Questions and Follow-Up Questions
This is the meat of the focus group moderator's guide. Here is where you will develop focus group questions and question format. You may also want to include notes like, "Why, or why not?" after questions to ensure answers are explained fully by participants.
Focus Group Tip #5: Include Time Cues
This is a simple one, but helpful for moderators to ensure they are on track! In the focus group moderator's guide, include a few time cues throughout the questioning. This way, the moderator knows the time they need to wrap-up sections of questioning or start sections of questioning to stay on time.
Focus Group Tip #6: Create A Wrap-Up
Here is where you can ask respondents for any final thoughts they would like to share. This will also be your cue to get the honorariums ready for each participant. (You wouldn't want to forget that part!)
For More On Focus Groups Contact Drive Research
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