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Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success

Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success

“A guide to ensuring each gig, trivia night and contest is reviewed by the trivia host to sharpen the skills and keep the content fresh”


Welcome back to the DigiGames blog, your one stop guide the trivia world containing your usually daily dose of hints, tips and ideas. Today we are going to look at something I know some of you won’t be doing, and something that I did not do when I first started out, and that’s taking notes and reflecting on the evening and the gig that has just happened. Now, I am obsessive with and keep a diary logging the pros and cons of each event and I use it as reference going forward.  You don’t have a perfect memory, nobody does.  Likely there are games you played years ago that were a huge success but as time has gone by have been forgotten.  Most successful entertainers agree that they have forgotten more than most have learned.  Therefore it is very important to take notes.


Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success   – The problem

As a trivia host you, if you are doing it right, will be very busy. Yes, you may have the trivia nights which you run week after week in the same venue and you will that these are a little easier to review and find out what works and what doesn’t.  However, on top of that you may get the odd corporate gig here, the charity fundraiser twice a year here and there and special events up and down the country. It would take an exceptional memory to remember the pros and cons of each event so you need to keep track in a more effective way to ensure you keep up your performance. If you don’t, you may make the same mistakes twice and misjudging an audience or an event may just be the reason that you are asked not to return as a host to certain venues.


Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success  – How to do it?

My tip would be to get yourself a nice big A4 Diary and carry it with you every where you go. It is unlikely you are going to be running more than one trivia night on any given day so dedicate the full pace to feedback. Write down how many teams played, what format you used and everything and anything about the night. When its all over write down what you thought went well and didn’t. Were some rounds greeted with moans? Were some questions too hard? Did the players enjoy the interaction or the jokes?


Then next time you do the gig you can look back and think “Right, they don’t like jokes, the team in the corner always wins and they never get good marks on modern music”. You can then use those bits of information to make your night better.


Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success  – Technology Analysis

Making good notes can also help you track how well your technology is doing, in essence, is your investment worth it! If you have paid for new lights, new designs etc to attract people has it worked? Do a survey and ask them if those sort of things matter? It all has to be done to make sure you keep in work and keep on top of the game. As I have mentioned time and time again it is a cut throat competition in the trivia world and if you don’t please an employer or a client then someone else will come along and take your job.

Another idea would be to monitor how many people embrace the technology. Maybe you have a game whereby you play a raffle to see who can have a go at Clobber or a Game Show System. If only say 40% of the players enter the raffle then you can track this in your notes and look to change it. Compare it with other ideas that have worked in the past etc to make the night improved and better.

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Making Good Notes – Reviewing Your Performance for a Route to Success  – Question Analysis

One major area you need to look at is the one area that all trivia revolves around – Questions. You can have the best technology, the funniest jokes and a great presentation style with all the bells and whistles to give that game show feel but at the end of the day the simple fact is that without good quality and relevant questions then you won’t impress your audience. This is where your notes come in…


2 Key Reason for this:


  • To judge the difficulty. For me this is always the hardest part of setting a quiz….that fine balance of setting questions that are not too easy, not too hard yet still require your players to think and get that intellectual satisfaction from getting an answer. By taking notes and marking how each team does and what the average scores are etc you can help pitch it. If you are seeing patterns the average score each week is under 60% then you need to act as that’s too hard. It the score is 90% plus on average then that’s too easy. You can tweak it, add in a few gimmes etc and get that balance right of about 70% for the last team and about 85% for the winners on average. Then everybody gets something from it.


  • Content of the questions. This is also vital…if you set a round on football and all the teams get 2-3/10 then you know to avoid that subject as its not fun for the players. If Modern Music rounds get 8/10 on average keep it in. Keep notes and take notice of them so you get a quiz where every player is interested in every round.



In all keeping notes will help you stay organized, keep your games fresh and appealing and lead to players being satisfied with the product. Knowing your audience is vital and knowing what works and what doesn’t will help sharpen your skills and keep the trivia night fun and involving for all. Don’t forget to check back through the notes regularly and once you start with the analysis it will be hard to stop.

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