Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Easy to Use Theatre Games for Energy, Insights and Ideas
At the QRCA Annual Conference, Laurie Tema-Lyn of Practical Imagination Enterprises took the opportunity to teach quallies new playful ways to engage research participants and clients. In her presentation, Tema-Lyn gave us the tools and the confidence to overcome the barriers of expense and the daunting nature that comes with learning new techniques and taught us to use roleplay, improv and other theater games in our work for fun, energy and results!
There are a lot of different games that we can utilize as researchers to engage our participants including
- Word Salad: A finger snapping game where the moderator asks a questions and people toss in their thoughts. QRCA participants admitted that when we tested this game, they felt more relaxed, focused, less stressed and able to answer honestly.
- “Yes and…”: A technique used to build on the other participants’ ideas by saying “Yes and..” We learned that it is a good idea to run this exercise for two minutes maximum and then the moderator should end the process and debrief on what was said/acted out.
- Theatre of Exaggeration: As a group, we were divided into two teams (i.e. one side against idea X and the other side is pro idea X) and each team says what the extreme benefit or risk of the product or service is to identify potential issues.
I left the session with actionable tips for successful theatre games including making it okay for participants to fail and laying out some rules of play. The key to the success of these tactics are to build trust and comfort among participants early so they can let their hair down. Lastly, I learned that it's important to also debrief on the methodology/process:
- Did the client find these innovative techniques useful?
- Better than the usual approach?”
Putting it into practice:
I greatly enjoyed Tema-Lyn’s session and I plan to use some of these tactics in my research. Anytime a group is low energy, the Word Salad would be a great way to energize and get latent ideas out of people. Also, when groups are quiet in the beginning, a few of the improv games could be used to create a more playful and sharing atmosphere.
I realized how impactful these tactics can be as I was watching the researchers in the room test the theatre games and agreeing they actually help them relax and engage in the question being asked.
This session was great to experience live, seeing the games in action really drove home their impact. I am excited for Laurie’s upcoming post on the Qual Power Blog post on utilizing these tactics further!
For more information check out Laurie's book "Stir it up! Recipes for Robust Insights and Red Hot Ideas" and look for her upcoming Qual Power Blog post on bringing the power of theater games to your next session!
QRCA Reporter on the Scene:
The Insights Grill