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Open yourself to criticism – What to do? How to use it to your advantage?

Open yourself to criticism – What to do? How to use it to your advantage?

“A wide range of useful tips, hints, advice and information on how you, as a trivia host should be looking to get criticism from your audience and your clients and how you should be using this to benefit you in the future”

Welcome back to the blog today and I hope all is going very well in your world of trivia hosting. I know it can be a tough game at times so even if you had the week from heel, then never give up as that dream gig could be just around the corner. I hope you are enjoying the recent run of posts encompassing several themes intended to aid you in getting work, keeping an audience and making your trivia show as unique and fun as it can be,

This entry today though is going to focus on a range of issues a little different – Criticism. Yes, you know I like to be as positive as I can be on this here blog but there comes a time when we have to look at situations and ideas that you have not previously thought about. We all as humans love praise, but taking criticism can be harder. Openly inviting criticism is an even tougher area but it is one area that, if you want to be as successful a trivia host as you can be, you really need to put into play. In this post therefore we are going to look at this delicate area and allow you to see what we really mean…..


Open yourself to criticism – Why do it?

If you do not open yourself up to criticism your shows are possibly eventually going to be:

  • Stale.  Do you like stale food?  Of course not!  Stale means you are rehashing old material and presenting it as new again.  It is all to easy to fall into this cycle of ‘here is a great thing I have for you…….that you’ve already seen before’.
  • Boring.  If you rehash old material you are going to lose your audience because it is likely that your own material is boring you first.  Even if it is in a small way that you get bored with your own material it will amplify into the audience.
  • Predictable.   Some predictability is good.  People will expect you to to play trivia, give prizes at certain points, do tournaments, etc, but if their mouths are moving before you have even said the works then you know you have a problem.  Ok, so that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. If week #1 you do Movies, TV and News trivia, then perhaps week #2 you do Celebrity, Music and Video trivia.  Don’t keep stuck on the same topics unless this is by prearrangement with the client or your particular crowd demands it.  Even still, don’t be predictable, even with repeat topics.  Throwing a curve-ball in there from time to time keeps people on their toes.  I talked extensively about bonus rounds and Joker rounds in previous posts.  Incorporating concepts such as these takes spices things up well.




Open yourself to criticism – What to do? How to use it to your advantage? – What to get feedback on?

So we are going to start this post by looking at what you should get feedback on and the answer to this one is quite straight forward. You need to be getting feedback on anything and everything…..get feedback on your presentation, the questions, the equipment, the choice of venue, the timing, the night of the week, the pace, the control of cheating…..basically all of the topics we cover on the blog are the issues you need to be getting right so make darn sure you know how your customers truly feel about what you are doing.


Open yourself to criticism – What to do? How to use it to your advantage? – How to get feedback?

There are several ways to get feedback. As we have said there is always social media to use and you should have a good social media presence across Facebook, Twitter and don’t overlook YouTube as well….so you should have a good following. You can add a simple poll to feedback your users will answers….

However, this isn’t always the best idea for the obvious reasons that many of your players either will not have access to social media or indeed, may not bother using it. So I would say the best idea is to get a feedback card done in the quiz itself. Design a simple little flyer or feedback card with all your questions on. You can have a system whereby you give a series of topics and you get the players to rank you between 1 and 10 (10 being you are the best, 1 being you need to give up!)……Don’t get them to write whole paragraphs and a ticky box or circle “how you feel” kind of sheet will always work best.

In terms of timing what you want to be doing I issue these when players are doing little else. It wont work if you just add them to the table and leave them to be filled in as and when players like as they wont. What I do is simply go round the tables at the end of the quiz to collect in the answer sheets and issue it then. Maybe do this once every 6-8 weeks and you will get a good reflection of how your players are feeling.

Building rapport with your local competition and agreeing to evaluate each other’s shows is only going to strengthen trivia in your market, and build up your shows.  There are only advantages to it, no disadvantages!  Stop worrying about “what if my competitor steels my client, or steels my ideas?”  That’s the point of building rapport first with your competitors.  Build that friendship and they will only refer people to you on nights they are too busy as opposed to viewing you as a threat.

Open yourself to criticism – What to do? How to use it to your advantage? – What to do next?

But of course, it is pointless getting the feedback if you are not going to do something with it hence you need to read it straight away and ask. Don’t just put it into a draw for later as you’ll never do it….read it straight away and act. If its only the one odd and random comment here and there maybe just an eye on the issue but if several people are saying the quiz is too long, or there isn’t enough variety, or the music round is too dated then without questions these are things that need remedied with immediate effect otherwise your gig will certainly be lost!


So, there we have it. As I said in the initial introduction to his post, this is not an easy area to deal with and what we have done in his post is just really scratch the surface of what you should be doing. It is hard to give full and proper advice on how to really handle the criticism until you know what that criticism is (and believe me it could be and will be anything and everything…some major, others minor). But if you take the above guide as a rough idea on what to do you will be fine….just remember to react, to ensure you are getting feedback and react well.


I hope you have found this post to be both an interesting and exciting read with useful tips. As always, I implore you, as a fellow trivia host, to share you feedback, ideas and stories about this area and I will be more than willing to take it on board. Don’t forget to keep checking back at the blog on a daily basis to keep up to date with all our long running themed posts and idea and until next time, it has been a pleasure, and “happy trivia hosting”!!!