Posted by: matisseelliott | May 30, 2013

Writing up and then presenting your qualitative research

Writing up and then presenting your qualitative research results can be two of the most difficult challenges you face as a researcher.  For writing, there is the constant threat of writer’s block.  In addition, the process of writing can be an isolating and even lonely period.  Qualitative research writing requires a high degree of creativity in order to tell a compelling story.  But the creativity must always be balanced with careful examination and reflexivity around what you’re saying, why you’re saying it, and how.  The process can be truly exhausting, and the one certainty is that you will be editing and revising your text over and over again.


If you doing research for work, be prepared to face criticism from your audience.  The purpose of the research was probably to inform a key business decision, which usually involves a significant investment of time and/or money, and you may find your audience very skeptical of the research findings simply because the stakes are high.  In order to best prepare for the presentation day, try and anticipate what questions and doubts each of your stakeholders may have.  In addition, bringing the research results to life by illustrating key themes with video clips or sound bytes often really helps. Lastly, have fun and be confident – you are representing and reporting out what you heard – you are bringing the voice of the customer to the table, whether or not the business decision makers like what the customer has to say or not. 

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