On Hosting a Pub Quiz: Part III

Part 3 of an ongoing series by Deven Deshpande, a seasoned quiz master with Thinq2Win.

Every great pub quiz consists of three acts. The first part is called The Pledge - you can read about it here.

The Second Part is The Turn or Points to remember During the Quiz! Part two is available here.

In this part, The Prestige, we'll focus on the Closure of the Quiz. 

Let's take the analogy of a matchstick getting lit. What's the signature of an ideal matchstick? 
It should ignite quickly and with a spark. Then the flame should remain constant for a while. And at the end, it should extinguish smoothly without burning the fingers.

Similarly, while conducting pub-quizzes, your start should grab the attention of the crowd and all eyes should be on you. Your audience will give you only a couple of minutes to intrigue them. If you fail, they'll carry on chatting and ignore the rest of the quiz. However, if you succeed, then you should continue giving them good questions and good entertainment from time to time and ensure the proceedings are conducted smoothly. Compare this to the middle overs in the cricket match. Implement run-a-ball strategy, and ensure the bulk of the runs are scored in this wave. Keeping the run-rate at an optimum level is crucial with an odd boundary here and there.


Points to remember at the Closure of the Quiz:

Coming back to our matchstick example, the ending is most crucial and shouldn't leave any burns. If it's too abrupt, the lamp is not lit. On the other hand, if it's too elaborate, there's a chance of burning the fingers. Thus, your climax should also come at just the right moment for the utmost pleasure (no pun intended ;) ).

Of course being an MBA student, I am not going to leave you without case-studies!

Case 1:

The session has been going great so far. The crowd is drawn into the acts and everyone seems to be excited about the questions, your hosting, and the idea of winning prizes. Your banter, engagement, the speed of the quiz, volume levels etc. have been spot on and have contributed to one of the better quizzes you've hosted in a while.
What next? 

This is what I personally prefer doing -
Just after the penultimate question, make your announcements. It is the right slot to tell about the people behind the quiz - the sponsors, the venue, the setters etc. If it's done post the quiz then people have already lost attention coz hey the last question is over! 

Ensure these announcements are crisp. Furthermore, let the audience know that you had a wonderful time hosting such a lovely audience. Tell them about the dates and times of the next quiz. And bid them adieu by saying 'Don't drink and drive' or 'Drive safe!' or 'Hope you have a dedicated driver!'

There‘s one way to indirectly know if this feeling of happiness is mutual or not. If you are applauded even before you finish your announcements, consider your job done well! Give yourself a pat on the back and ask the last question of the quiz.
Finally, don't linger around much after the last question has been answered. Let the folks have a good time with their food, drinks, books, music, and friends!

Case 2:

Okay firstly, I really hope you don't end up with this version of your Rashomon quiz! But unfortunately, if it happens, don't be too harsh on yourself. The quiz might not have gone well due to multiple factors - the mic not working well, overwhelming audience, no audience at all, etc. or it could just be one of those days when things just don’t click. But we'll focus on factors that lie within our Circle of Influence and ensure those are done right. You didn't perform well? It's fine. Happens. The best part is now you know what NOT to do.

If you find yourself in such a situation - read this.

It encapsulates the actionable advice after a dreadful round of hosting really well. 
Read. Absorb. Act. And I'm sure, like the phoenix-risen-from-the-ashes, your next quiz will be lit!

Well, that's that for this series. I hope you liked it as much as I liked penning it down. We would be talking more on such lovely topics so keep watching this space.

Don't forget to add your feedback, suggestions, and comments in the section below!


Feel like you want to give hosting a chance, or know someone who can? Send them to apply here.