IAF AdminIAF Library

Buzz group

by for .  
5 - 10 Low
This process is used to activate a group of any size to take part in a process.


The purpose of this method is to help maintain interest and to get people involved in something. By discussing and expressing their own thought their learning gets stimulated. Furthermore this method offers information and experiences for the participants on which they can further build on. Another aspect is that it helps the participants to get acquainted with each other.





    Setting: No material is needed or recommended.

    Number of participants: This method is especially useful in bigger groups, but can be used for any size of group.

    Types of participants: Any types of participants can be involved in this process.

    Time needed: Between five and ten minutes, depending on the topic that should be discussed.

    Ideal conditions: There are no special conditions needed.

    Pre-Work Required: There is no work that needs to be done beforehand.

    Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not necessary as the group only needs to be instructed and supervised.

    Facilitator personality fit: This is a easy method that can be practised by anyone.


    1. Divide the group into subgroups of two to four people. Do so by asking everybody to turn to their neighbours, without moving from where they are sitting as this is the easiest and quickest way to create groups.
    2. Give a simple task or question to them, which can be discussed in 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. After completion of this task, ask some groups to report or express their experiences.
    4. The outcomes can be used as a starting point for the rest of the programme.


    Follow-Up Required: There is no follow-up required.

    Usual or Expected Outcomes: The output of this process is an involved, energized group or audience as well as an interactive input for the lecture or programme.

    Potential pitfalls: One can not control what the pairs are talking about, especially when working with a bigger group.

    How success is evaluated: The process is successful when the people are now comfortable with one another, and feel involved in the process.

    Examples of successes and failures: It is a simple way to "neutralise" people who dominate the discussion in plenary sessions.

    Using buzz groups in the beginning of a session helps to create an informal atmosphere.

    Online tips

    Place participants in random groups in breakout rooms to discuss the topic. They will share their output when they return to the main session.


    Source: Patrick Boel - May, 2006

    Alternative names: Everybody gets involved

    Comments (0) 

    Please Log in or Sign up for FREE SessionLab account to continue.