Four favourite methods to bring your workshop or focus group to life

When delivering a workshop or focus group it can be a challenge to hear from all voices in the room. One way to encourage everyone to have their say this is to use a few tried and tested methods that are engaging and will help bring life to your facilitation.

Card storming 

Card storming is when a group writes their answers to a particular question on a card and the cards are then grouped by emerging themes. This works well for clustering and categorising sticky notes into key themes on a wall. You could also do this online using a digital whiteboard tool such as Miro.

Group discussion 

For a group discussion you can pose a question to a group or a few smaller groups to discuss and write down their answers on a template (or upload digitally). It’s a good idea to also allow time for smaller groups to share their responses with the room after the discussion. This method can be easily adapted for an online workshop.

Live polling 

You can ask different types of questions including open ended or multiple-choice questions using live polling. It’s very effective for collecting anonymous data and showing analysed results to a group in real time. This helps participants understand different views in the room and also gives them the confidence to provide honest answers. Live polling can be used for in person and online consultation activities, as long as participants have access to a smart phone or device.


In a carousel activity, participants spend time answering questions at different tables in a room, with a new topic at each table.  Participants have the opportunity to decide which questions they spend their time discussing and can move tables to provide input into multiple topics. You could also do this using breakout rooms if conducting an online session.

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Written by Amanda Newbery
Articulous is led by founder and managing director Amanda Newbery, an award-winning communications and engagement professional. She has made a career of tackling difficult projects across Australia. A passionate and experienced communicator, she has worked with some of the country’s largest organisations and government organisations nationally. She is a sought-after issues and crisis advisor, especially for major corporations.