No matter if we are engrossed in a tv game show, impressing one another with our trivia knowledge, or racking our brains at a family gathering, we all love a good quiz. Entertaining quizzes need not have the same format or similar questions. They should be all about having fun and thinking creatively while enjoying a fun and friendly bit of competition.
Is this going to be a quiz filled with multiple choice questions? Are players going to get to choose a category? Shall it be a race against the clock? Your quiz can take any of many formats, so it’s best to decide on one early so you can compile those all-important questions.
When deciding on a format, we recommend you keep it as simple as possible. Lessen the admin burden on yourself and opt for a format you think will be enjoyable and easy to follow. Complex rounds and categories with a catalog of rules and special conditions won’t just be tough for your audience to follow but will be a headache for you.
So how long do you want this quiz to be? Too few questions and it’s over too quickly, while too many categories will have people falling over the finish line. Breaks and pauses can be a great way to lengthen your quiz and let everyone take a breather, have a chat, and regroup while you do some scorekeeping - it can also be a useful way to build tension.
When deciding on each of these factors, try running through a test set of questions and seeing how long it may take to answer. Was it too much time? Did you need an extra minute to go back and scribble something down? Or were you left to twiddle your thumbs and tap your pen on the table? Make adjustments based on this dry run and go from there.
We do recommend implementing a time limit for rounds as some teams and people will be happy to sit there and rack their brains until the sun is ready to rise. This may be a quiz, but part of the game is knowing the answer in time, not just being correct.
Are teams going to pit their might against each other or is this contest going to be contested by individuals? Both options can be entertaining, but remember that the total number of participants will probably dictate this decision for you. Individual quizzes can be great if you want to add some chaos or if you are short on numbers or wish to run a quiz with a more intimate group.
When it comes to teams, dividing them up again will often boil down to how many are taking part. Teams of 2, 3, and 4 are most common but can of course get up to 6. We recommend keeping it around 4 as this way everyone will be able to contribute and there will be less shouting and disagreements. The less fractious the experience the more fun it will be for all involved.
While offering one point for a correct answer is the standard and easiest way to do things, it lacks that extra pizzaz and jeopardy that you may wish to inject into your quiz. Double points and extra points for more complex answers or negative scoring can really spice things up and maintain tension right until the final question.
Whichever system you decide on, be sure to note it all down in advance so there are no mistakes when adding up the scores. The last thing you want is for a team to realize its tally is incorrect and begin to kick up a fuss at this apparent slight. So whichever system you choose, be sure you can understand it and don’t make any accounting mistakes.
Now we are not insinuating that you would make an unfair or corrupt quiz! What we want you to bear in mind is that the quiz should give everyone a fair chance of winning (or at least doing well). Certain categories will naturally contain more niche questions that few will understand; loading your quiz with questions on science and mathematics may alienate many. Sticking to topics most people know something about (pop culture) will let everyone feel they can contribute and show off their trivia skills.
If you want to create real competition during the quiz, consider awarding the winner (and perhaps the runners-up) a small prize to recognize their achievement. The prospect of winning something can help your audience become even more engaged while creating a more competitive and energetic atmosphere!
If you’re running a large-scale quiz a great way to gather together some prizes is to ask people if they have anything they would be willing to donate. This way you will be able to hand out a number of prizes and let the winners have their pick of the bunch.
Draws happen. Tennis has tiebreakers; an exciting way to break this deadlock and crown a champion. Why not take some inspiration from tennis and create your very own exhilarating tiebreaker? Feel free to get creative with this part of your quiz and break from the norms. Remember that you want to build the suspense and end with a bang!
We have a series of tips on exactly this topic, but please keep in mind that quizzes are meant to be fun! While testing your guests with a real head-scratching series of questions can, indeed, be fun, many will be far happier enjoying the time they get to spend in the company of others.
Knowing your audience is the best way to ensure they will have fun. If you are inviting a serious bunch of competitive quizzers then some really difficult trivia will be the best option. Friends that share a common interest, on the other hand, will be far more interested in answering questions on their favorite topics.
From a hosting perspective, have you ever watched a game show on TV? More often than not, the host is very charismatic and has a good sense of humor. A great quiz host is part of the whole experience. Keep this in mind when you are hosting your quiz and be ready to entertain your audience by telling jokes and presenting with a smile!
Add another element to your quiz by including anecdotes after each question. Anecdotes can be short stories or an explanation for the answer to the question just asked. They will provide more context and can be an excellent chance for the quiz host to share some knowledge. Overall, it can make your quiz a lot richer!
So what are some of the best categories you can compile to make the ultimate quiz? Well, there are of course plenty and what’s wonderful about quizzes is that you can be as weird and wonderful as you want. But we will stick to some of our favorite examples here - some a bit more creative than the standard, history, geography, food & drink that we all enjoy.
Now that we have given you some tips on how to host a fun quiz and some interesting categories you can include, we better offer some extra advice on what questions you can include. Well, you’re in luck as we happen to have a blog post dedicated to this exact topic. So for over 100 different quiz questions - broken down by category - just follow this link.
Why not get really creative and ditch the pen, the paper, and the calculator? Try out a Mentimeter quiz and let everyone vote with their phones. Use a series of multiple choice questions, type the answer questions, and include some additional trivia throughout.
Players can even earn more points for answering quickly and correctly while you can display scoreboards throughout to let everyone know how well (or badly) they are doing! Try out one of our Quiz Templates now and get started right away without the need to come up with the questions yourself. We promise it will be a blast.