July 2013 

Five Tips for Fabulous Focus Groups

Select participants who can provide the information you need. Invite people to participate based on characteristics most relevant to what you want to learn (e.g., their experience, role, perspective).


Include 6 to 10 people. More participants will speak in a smaller group; however, there will be little discussion in a group that is too small.


Have a script and practice beforehand. Include an introduction and no more than 10 open-ended questions on a focused topic.


Serve refreshments and put participants at ease. Having light snacks and beverages helps create a relaxed environment that promotes discussion. Remind participants that every viewpoint is important and that there are no wrong answers.


Focus groups are effective because they are focused! Don't try to obtain "everything" from your focus group. The more clear your purpose and questions are, the more likely you'll obtain both useful and actionable information from them.



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