connections chapter news

December 2014
Vol. 13, Number 10

Remember to check out the QRCA calendar of events
for upcoming Chapter events

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News


Eastern Canada Chapter Meeting: Productive Lunch

Mark Lovell,

Meeting held in Montreal, 6th November, 2014

IPSOS Montreal kindly offered us a group discussion room in which to hold this meeting. The principle was that each QRC brought their own lunch but beverages were generously provided. Several purposes were listed on the invitations:

to renew acquaintance and networking

to review the highlights of the New Orleans Conference (particularly for the benefit of those who could not attend it)

to listen in to Jay Zaltzman’s justly famous presentation on ‘How to Conduct Research More Effectively Using Behavioural Economics’

to get a chance to win a signed copy of the new book “Online Qual: The Essential Guide”,  by Susan Abbott and Jennifer Dale

The session did not disappoint. Those who hadn’t made it to New Orleans regretted it, but took comfort from the opportunities offered to listen to tapes and discuss them with those who had had first-hand information.

What was particularly impressive was the way in which Jay Zaltzman led his listeners gently towards a better understanding of behavioural economics — a term that nowadays seems to be frequently used vaguely rather than with precise meaning. Equally impressive were his suggestions for how being conscious of its implications should affect qualitative research procedures — involving choices of technique, what to include in an effective guide, and how to set up and phrase actual questions. Interpretation of results would depend very much on balancing what could be ascribed to the emotional side and what was reason-based.

During the discussion following the presentation, several noted that listening to it in the company of other QRCs meant a great deal. Going over the material with peers contributed anchor points for recalling and subsequently using the points that had been made. It also made sense to have an open door to the work of the psychologists who underpinned the approach. QRCs can now legitimately reassure and impress clients that what they propose has a scientific base.

Looking ahead, it was felt that future meetings might make use of little working sessions following this kind of presentation, adding a practical aspect as well as getting a better knowledge of each other’s thinking. Attracting QR’s to devote a couple of hours in the middle of the day to a QRCA meeting might depend very much on making it seem practical as well as simply interesting.

Congratulations to Cedrick Hached who won Online Qual: The Essential Guide!

eastern canadian chapter
Those present were: (starting from the left) Dominic Laroche, Mark Lovell, Cedrick Hached, Pascal Patenaude, Marc-André Leduc and Kent Crutchfield.

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Missouri Chapter November Meeting: Don’t Serve a Cold Meal!

Cynthia Cluff,

Don’t wing it. Always prepare. Your first presentation should not be your first presentation. You don’t serve a cold meal! You don’t do a presentation cold. You need to warm up and to prepare properly.

Thus we were told by our fellow QRCA member, Michelle Finzel.  At our Missouri Chapter’s November meeting, Michelle shared with us some tips on Public Speaking Made Easy (Michelle presented this topic at the recent QRCA Conference).

  1. Do some warm ups before a public speaking engagement. Physical warm ups are good, such as stretching your arms out and then pulling your arms inward. Warming up your voice by repeatedly say a few tongue twisters is essential. “Unique New York, unique New York, you know you need unique New York.” Do this over and over for a few minutes.
  2. The Triangle: You can shift the dynamics of a room you are presenting to by physically moving around. One strategy is called The Triangle: make a point, move, make a second point, move, and, finally, the third point and move. You move on transitions and you have a triangle of transitions.
  3. Al Dente: Cook just enough, until somewhat firm; do not overcook. The mantra here is “Less can be more.” Use the moment to say what you want and make your point and let it be. Allow for there to be silence and do not take over with more talking at this point. Take a breath, savor the silence, let it be. Then move on to your next point. When you say less and then pause, take a deep breath. Everyone in the room will be taking a breath with you.
  4. Talk slower: Self-monitor and aim for talking slower.
  5. Cut out justifications or apologies: Start your sentence, make your point, and do not mix in justifications and apologies.
  6. Rule of 3: 3 themes or 3 points is the rule in a public presentation. You organize your ideas into three groupings. Your three themes should be important, poignant, and memorable. This makes it more interesting and enjoyable for the audience.
  7. Have strong organization and use repetition to bring your audience along with you: “Here is what I’m going to tell you.” “Here is a recap of what I said as I move into my next point.” “And here is a preview of what I am going to say with my next point.” “And finally, here are the main themes I discussed today.” Repetition helps the audience stay engaged and follow your points.
  8. Nonverbal cues: Be aware of not only what you are saying but how you are presenting yourself as a person, specifically your nonverbal cues. If your expressions or your demeanor show impatience or irritation, for example (such as, you make a sigh of irritation when an audience member makes a comment or remark), whatever you have to say next is lost. The audience is cueing into your nonverbal communication of impatience and is waiting to see what happens next. The content of your point is lost as the interest is on your presentation of yourself as a person and the irritation you are non-verbally communicating at this point.

Practicing your speaking skills is important, particularly as we move more toward non-personal speaking with online and digital forums. You want to serve up a warm meal or a practiced and prepared speech.

Thank you to Michelle Finzel for sharing her time and talent with us by coming to St. Louis and doing an interactive session on public speaking. Focus Pointe Global (formerly Delve), one of our quality research organizations, was gracious in hosting our meeting; and Krista Knuffman and Rick Weitzer, our Missouri Chapter Co-Chairs, organized our topic and meeting logistics. Thank you!

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Southeast Chapter Plans Meetings for Two Months

Joel Reish,
Randi Stillman,

The QRCA Southeast Chapter will have two meetings in the coming weeks:

  • It's ba-a-a-ck! Our Chapter meeting on Fri., Dec. 5 was another "Best of the Best from the QRCA Conference." As we've done in years past, this meeting was a chance to get a condensed version of several educational sessions from the recent QRCA Annual Conference in New Orleans. We met at Terra Terroir (yummy!) in Brookhaven (Atlanta area). For several years now our “Best of the Best from the QRCA Conference” meetings have been among our most popular!
  • Mark your calendar for the Chapter meeting on Mon., Jan. 12, a very special opportunity to meet the QRCA Board of Directors. The Board has chosen Atlanta for its annual strategic retreat, and many of the directors will be staying over to meet with you and attend our Chapter meeting. Plus, we will have a presentation by Jay Zaltzman, recapping his highly-praised session from the Conference, "How To Conduct Research More Effectively Using Behavioral Economics."Jay is a QRCA Board member, an engaging speaker, and an innovative thought-leader in the qualitative research world. This will be a special, unique chance to meet with the Board members (and show them the pride of the Southeast Chapter!). Location for this meeting to be announced shortly.

As always, anyone from outside of Atlanta — please let us know if we can arrange a place for you to stay if needed.
To RSVP or if you have any questions please contact:
Randi Stillman: 404-326-0671
Joel Reish: 770-609-5500

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Texas and Friends Chapter Looks to the Future!

Jessica Broome,

Texas and Friends Chapter members stretched their brains on November 14 at a workshop in Houston organized by Mike Courtney and led by Dr. Andy Hines, professor of Foresight at University of Houston, assisted by two of his students.

Dr. Andy pointed out that Foresight and qualitative research are great bedfellows; using this forward-thinking approach can help us help our clients not only understand their customers, but also craft strategies, drive innovation, and identify potential new offerings.

Highlights of Dr. Andy’s foresight method include:

Identifying Alternative Futures: What’s possible, plausible, and probable in a particular industry — and what’s preferable for the client?

Stretching our thinking to the limits of plausibility — even when these alternative futures might be different from the preferred one!

Thinking about STEEP changes and the impact they could have.

We got to try out Dr. Andy’s 6-part method (framing, scanning, forecasting, visioning, planning, and acting) by identifying relevant trends and envisioning different futures for our own fictitious clients.

Everyone left excited to help our clients look toward the future!

Thank you to the team at Connexions Research for hosting us, and thank you to FocusVision for providing live streaming!

Front row (left to right): Jack Hernandez (guest), Mayuri Joshi, Marta Villanueva, Kelly Heatly. Second row (left to right): Danelia Argueta (Connexion Research), Mike Courtney, Susan Korbel, Jessica Broome, Andy Hines (presenter), Anndel Martin, and Kevin Cosgriff-Hernandez (guest).

Futurists hard at work!

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Virtual Chapter Meeting – Now 12th December

Julia Spink,

We are delighted to announce a very interesting topic for our next meeting, with a line-up of fantastic speakers:

  • Samantha Loggenberg from South Africa
  • Raji Bonara from India
  • Jinghuan Liu Tervalong from China
samantha loggenberg
Samantha Loggenberg
raji bonara
Raji Bonara
jinghuan liu
Jinghuan Liu



Born and evolved from the AQR/QRCA Budapest conference, this paper attempts to look at the differences and synergies between three “emerging” markets, namely India, China and South Africa. The primary focus of the paper is on how various forms of freedom have impacted consumption in these three countries, as well as how trends have evoked changing psychographics.

This paper also has a look at up-gradations mediated by the social context. The fascinating ebbs and flows of each context are then pulled together to answer the big question ... SO what? What could this all mean to us as Qualitative Researchers? This paper is a unique collaboration from all three markets and certain to have something to tantalize the palate of both the novice as well as seasoned researcher. 

Definitely one to not be missed!


This will take place as a live meeting on Friday 12th December at 12 noon ET.

If you are unable to attend that, we will then be uploading the recording of the meeting to a Focus Forums Bulletin Board which will be open for access through to end 16th December. This will also enable further dialogue about the topic, with the speakers logging on to answer any further questions.


To register please drop a note to Julia Spink at and we will send you the details for logging in to both sessions.

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