Seminar Moderator Training: Focus Groups and IDIs Seminar

Presented by The Burke Institute

Burke Institute Seminars

Bring this seminar on-site to your facility for groups of 10 or more.

This limited enrollment, intensive 4-day workshop is designed to train you to become a focus group moderator.

Course Description

This limited enrollment, intensive 4-day workshop is designed to train you to become a focus group moderator. Specifically, you will learn:
  • How to communicate with your "clients" to understand the decisions they want to make and how to turn that information into a qualitative research study.
  • The core skills used to design and moderate focus groups and how to apply those skills through a series of interactive workshops, including the opportunity to moderate a live focus group.
  • How to ask questions that will elicit the best quality responses and go beyond the top of mind answers to search for the truth behind what people say and do.
  • Tips and tricks on how to handle dominant participants and bring out the quiet and shy participants to make each interview or focus group as efficient and effective as possible without introducing bias into the session.
  • How to handle the mechanics associated with obtaining facilities, recruiting participants and working with clients behind the one way mirror.
  • Report writing tips on how to take the findings from your research and turn them into actionable information in a storytelling format.


Focus Group Moderator Training
Course Outline and Schedule
----- First Day -----
08:30 AM - 08:45 AM Introduction
08:45 AM - 10:30 AM Session 1
  • How does qualitative research fit into the overall research scheme and how can it be used most effectively
  • Determine which qualitative research techniques are most effective for your project including pointers for using in-depth interviews, ideation sessions and other qualitative techniques
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM Session 2
  • Pointers on determining how many groups, which participants to invite, which cities to select and the appropriate moderator
  • How to create and use an inference ladder to design qualitative projects
  • Typical costs and fees
12:15 PM - 01:30 PM Lunch Break
01:30 PM - 03:30 PM Session 3
  • How to create a discussion guide
  • Sequencing of topics and questions
  • What should and shouldn’t be included in a guide
  • The inverted pyramid approach
  • The four main stages of a discussion guide
  • Sample discussion guides
03:30 PM - 03:45 PM Break
03:45 PM - 05:00 PM Session 4
  • Using a real-life case study, learn through a "hands on" opportunity to create a guide and compare ideas

    Homework: Pick a topic and create a simple discussion guide to be used during one-on-one interviews.

----- Second Day -----
08:30 AM - 10:15 AM Session 5
  • Review three levels of eliciting responses
  • Nonverbal communication techniques
  • Questioning skills – direct and non direct questions, probing, the why question and how to avoid it
  • How to avoid asking biasing questions
  • Unconditional positive regard and other moderator management skills
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Session 6
  • One-on-one practice interviews to incorporate the questioning and moderating skills explored in previous sessions
12:30 PM - 01:30 PM Lunch Break
01:30 PM - 03:00 PM Session 7
  • Learn how to "liven up" and bring energy to dull sessions
  • Video clips and examples of how to handle non-responsive, unqualified or dominant participants
  • What to do when participants ask questions
  • Dealing with other group related dynamics
03:00 PM - 03:15 PM Break
03:15 PM - 05:00 PM Session 8
  • How to locate a facility, design a screener and answer questions regarding recruiting problems
  • How to work with the facility the day of the groups to have the most impactful sessions

    Homework: Revise discussion guide based on feedback and one-on-one interviews.

----- Third Day -----
08:30 AM - 09:45 AM Session 9
  • How to develop quality communication through a series of groups, including effective listening skills from behind the one-way mirror and debriefing
09:45 AM - 10:00 AM Break
10:00 AM - 11:45 AM Session 10
  • Pointers for writing actionable research reports
  • Analyzing qualitative data
  • Videotapes and transcripts
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM Lunch Break
12:45 PM - 05:30 PM Session 11
  • Practice the skills and behaviors learned during the seminar by moderating a group discussion

    (Note: A 15-minute break will be provided during this session)

    Homework: Finalize discussion guide for live focus group on last day.

----- Fourth Day -----
08:30 AM - 08:45 AM Overview
Overview of the Day's Workshops/Schedule
08:45 AM - 12:30 PM Session 12
  • An opportunity to moderate a group of actual participants which will be videotaped and observed by one of the seminar leaders
12:30 PM - 04:30 PM
  • Receive feedback from one of the seminar leaders on your videotaped focus group
  • Opportunity to learn by sitting in on other seminar participant feedback sessions

    (Lunch will be provided during the feedback session)

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND COMBINING THIS SEMINAR WITH "Specialized Moderator Skills for Qualitative Research Applications" FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM.


What Past Participants Have Said About This Seminar

Verbatim evaluations from participants who have attended the "Focus Group Moderator Training " seminar.
Names of evaluators have been left out as a matter of professional courtesy.


"Excellent! As much as I learned from the things she said, I also learned from her own interactions with the class and her style in handling group dynamics. Her humor also made it very enjoyable. Extremely valuable (seminar). A very good balance between theory and practice. Just what I hoped for. Topics with which I was familiar were still very valuable with the addition of the experience of the instructor."
Market Researh Analyst, Frontier Communications Corporation


"I enjoyed it very much. It was very informative and presented in a very systematic format which prepared the participants for the next topic. Excellent! (The speaker) has a unique talent for drawing participants in immediately and making them feel comfortable. She was extremely well informed and prepared. Very impressive."
Product Manager, Frey Scientific Co.


"Very good, in-depth information, covered everything from beginning to finish in the qualitative process."
Sr. Research Analyst, WE Energies


"This was an excellent experience. I gained a lot of valuable insights on the flow of the discussion guide as well as managing “interesting” personalities within a group."
Manager of Market Research Analysis, Quality Education Data


"Excellent. Well worth my time to attend. Good combination of presentation & workshops."
Research Analyst, Advantage Research


"The seminar content was nearly a perfect fit for my needs at the time. I was seeking a seminar that would provide both knowledge and hands-on experience across the entire focus group moderation process, from the initial establishment of client objectives and creation of the discussion guide through the moderation of actual focus groups and generation of the final report. Great job."
Creativity Engineer, Creatonomy


"Although this seminar is intense in the level of emotions and work involved, it proved to be a fabulous opportunity for which I learned a great deal."
Marketing Research Analyst, Caterpillar Inc.


"I can not imagine being a moderator without taking this course. Carol was truly inspiring--brilliant, funny, and so knowledgeable. The other students were encouraging, respectful, interesting, and great for networking. What a well-spent 4 days. I began the pursuit of a client base as soon as I returned home to Boston. I am still feeling "charged." The hotel was great and reasonably priced compared to what I am accustomed to. I can't stop raving about my "Burke Institute course." What an edifying 4 days. Thank you!"
, Independent Qualitative Researcher


"I learned much more than I expected to. Another valuable outcome of the seminar was the confidence I developed in my moderating abilities. Now I am ready to start offering moderating services to my clients, and this is a huge plus for my business. I also met great people with whom I plan to keep in touch. Carol was fantastic, both personally and professionally. I think the content was comprehensive, appropriate for the 4 days we had to spend, and extremely valuable - all of it."
Founder, Insightography


"Content was exceptional, and I really appreciated the opportunity to practice what we learned (as well as the feedback from our practice sessions)."
Principal, English Communictions, LLC


"Excellent balance between content, real-life examples from the instructors, and role-play. Truly one of the most informative seminars I have been to."
Manager, Independent Qualitative Researcher


"The seminar was terrific, just like past Burke Institute seminars I've taken. It's been some 30 years since I last attended a Burke Seminar but they haven't lost their excellence."
Manager, New Product and Business Development, Nestle Purina PetCare


More Seminar Information

The Burke Institute
Burke Institute Seminars


This limited enrollment, intensive 4-day workshop is designed to train you to become a focus group moderator.

Delivery Method

Seminar Seminar

Also Available As

On-Site Training On-Site Training

Who Should Attend

Marketing Research Professionals

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Dates and Locations

Cincinnati, OH
7/14/2020 - 7/17/2020
Tuition: $3475

Cincinnati, OH
9/29/2020 - 10/2/2020
Tuition: $3475

Cincinnati, OH
12/8/2020 - 12/11/2020
Tuition: $3475

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Ohio (Find training in Ohio)
7/14/2020-7/17/2020 in Cincinnati, OH         Find a seminar in Cincinnati OH
9/29/2020-10/2/2020 in Cincinnati, OH         Find a seminar in Cincinnati OH
12/8/2020-12/11/2020 in Cincinnati, OH         Find a seminar in Cincinnati OH