1. Home
  2. Understand your audience
  3. Research methods
  4. Overview of Research Methods
  5. Focus groups
  6. Conducting

Focus groups

How to do it?

Although the script and agenda of the focus group may vary, the following activities should be performed during the session:


Beginning the session
  • Offer thanks, a welcome and introductions
  • Attend to participants' comfort (refreshments, toilets, special needs)
  • Signing consent forms and ask permission to record
  • Discuss anonymity/confidentiality issues
  • Complete name badges
  • Recap purpose of study
  • Outline procedure, including finishing time
  • Set ground rules for running the group
  • Provide opportunity to ask questions
Moderating the discussion
  • Make sure the group's discussion is directed and remains focused in the topic of interest, but make room for new ideas to develop
  • The amount of structure imposed on the discussion should depend on specific information needs
  • Be short while talking and avoid sequential questioning
  • Be aware of problematic participants (e.g., dominant or shy) and try to balance the group discussion
  • After the end of the group discussion, other methods to collect qualitative or quantitative data (e.g., questionnaires) could be used, if necessary
Ending the session
  • Reiterate thanks
  • Reiterate confidentiality
  • Give opportunity for questions
  • Provide further information or posssible sources of information
  • Debrief
  • Check that participants have had a good experience
  • Offer farewells and /or information about any follow-ups


Get started...

Click on the step you wish to learn more about.

Methods selection decision aid

Take this short quiz to learn what are the best 3 methods to understand your audience and answer your research question(s).