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How to Make Your Trivia Questions Tricky and Fun

How to Make Your Trivia Questions Tricky and Fun

Throughout the blog so far we have looked at all aspects of making your trivia night as best as it can be. We have talked about marketing it correctly, securing the gig, making players feel welcome and adding all kinds of tie-breaks, prizes and twists to make sure that your trivia night works and attracts players into the venue. There is however one major area that I would like to spend some time discussing and that is the actual trivia questions you are asking.


One guaranteed route to failure of any trivia night, trivia show, trivia app or trivia website is if the questions are not quality and lack a fun factor. People want to be entertained and they want interesting, creative and well planned out questions. Are you using questions from printed out pages online? Are you using ancient quiz books and copying the questions across? Then this is why you may not be failing. Coupled with that you may be a new trivia host looking for your first gig and preparing for that first night in the venue…..the questions you ask should always take up most of your time. If you find on the morning of the trivia event you still don’t have a set then you are doing something wrong.


And that is where my first point and hint comes in…


Trivia requires preparation and preparation gives perfection. You cannot produce a trivia set on a regularly basis that is fun and tricky if you are leaving everything to that last minute. Eventually this will catch up with. I plan at least 3-4 weeks in advance and  apart from current affairs rounds I have the trivia ready to go. The days before are spent checking the questions have not gone out of date (or that the subject of the question has become a little awkward)  and that ensures my questions are always in tip top shape come the night. Only with adequate and throughout preparation can your trivia questions stand out.


It matters for several reasons. The first is that although you are doing your best to make the trivia night unique in format, style and presentation. You also need to consider the very simple fact that the majority of players want good trivia….why else would they be at a trivia night? Your main product, the main thing you are selling is the trivia and if its poor, you can have all the lights and backdrops you like, but people simply will turn away in droves.


It is easier said that done writing tricky and fun trivia. The first thing I advice you to do if your not already is buy a pocket sized notebook. Forget about phones, tablets and all the technology for now….get a pen and pocket sized notebook and carry it everywhere. Sometimes the innovation for a question comes from a conversation, a sign you see, a logo you notice or hearing something on a radio.  Don’t let that opportunity go to waste, jot it down. I have went through the amazon rainforest equivalent of notebooks in my trivia writing career and it all has served me well. Even little fact  and information that may not seen interesting at first could develop into great trivia later down the line.


Fun trivia can come in all subjects…..don’t get in the mindset of thinking that fun questions can only be daft ones or questions about entertainment subjects. Any subject can give you a fun question if you delve deep enough and this is where the research comes in. You may have the base for a question but are lacking that punch….read it back to yourself, does it sound interesting? Would the average person on the street agree? If your question is about a person you can easily add fun facts to it and funny quotes by looking online. If your answer for example is going to be a celebrity…..head away from the usual questions and include some quirky information. One little quote or one bit of  “I didn’t know he did that” kind of information can turn your dull question in a show stopper.


If you are looking to “tricky” your audience remember that no one likes to be fooled. You are not there to write an impossible quiz, you are there to entertain and make sure the players have a good time. The minute your audience feel belittled or put down is the minute they won’t return. If you are tricking them or trying to give tricky questions make sure that a) the answers is at least guessable or b) they are going to laugh when they hear it!

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