Pub Quiz Advice
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I used to be a full time Quiz Master and I made a nice living out of it, I still do one quiz a week to test the quizzes I make. But not everyone can do what I do. You need to be confident and you must believe in yourself and what you do.
If you are naturally shy you are going to have problems. What are you like when you meet people for the first time? Think about what it would be like to stand in front of twenty or more strangers who are drinking in their local pub and introduce yourself on a microphone. If this thought fills you with fear and dread then don't read on, this is definitely not the career for you. If I haven't put you off then please continue.
If you are still reading this then good for you. I'm going to give to you my 20 years of experience in the pub quiz business and if I can help you start a new career in this very rewarding occupation then that will be awesome.
Something you have to understand before we go on is that I started out as an entertainer before I branched out into doing pub quizzes as I got older. This is why I do fun quizzes, it's in my blood, I'm used to giving people a good nights entertainment and to me a serious quiz with difficult questions doesn't interest me, I find them boring. I'm not saying seriously hard quizzes are bad, it's very popular in some places but I can't see the attraction myself, but that's my opinion not everyone's. So before you read on, if you're only interested in doing these type of quizzes then the rest of this article doesn't apply, however, parts of it you might still find useful.
The Fun Pub Quiz
The secret to making a full time living out of this is to keep your audience coming back week after week. They will be looking forward to your next quiz night and they will tell their friends about it, before you know it your quizzes will be packed out. I'm going show you how to do this and it's never failed for me so I can't see why you shouldn't have the same success.
By choosing quiz questions that most people can answer, or at the very least have a good guess at, you are appealing to a wider audience. I choose questions I can answer myself and I class myself as having an average amount of general knowledge. From a good quiz book I will only find about 10% of the questions good enough for my quizzes. If someone is trying to do your quiz and their answer sheet is blank after the first 5 questions they will give up and eventually leave. A fun quiz also has to have different quiz rounds including a picture round or a music round and a different theme round every week. This ensures that players from all walks of life have the same chance of winning the quiz because they will have different weaknesses and strengths. What you must avoid at all costs is the same clever people winning all the time, if people think they can't ever win then they will stop trying. There are plenty of other things you can add to the quiz to mix things up like puzzles, speed rounds, brain teasers and word games. Keeping the quiz fresh and exciting week after week is vital if you're are going to make a success of it.
Your first Pub Quiz
Don't suddenly think that you can jump straight in and go around every pub in your area offering your services proclaiming you do the best quiz in town. Get one pub quiz to start with and perfect your routine. You might have to do it for free your first time but this will give you the opportunity to practice, you will eventually turn an otherwise quiet night of the week into a packed out success. Only when you've reached the stage where you're super confident and you don't even have to think about what to say or do is it time to look for an extra gig. Once you've reached this stage it will be a lot easier to get more work, if your first pub quiz isn't a success then you need to figure out why before you look for another one.
Imagine walking into a new pub and telling the publican that you run a very successful fun quiz night down the road. There's a good chance they've already heard about it and you will have their undivided attention. You can explain to them why the quiz is so popular and what your format is. Explain to them that you take a break after each round so the punters have a chance to buy more drinks and that the quiz lasts for 2 hours, this is music to the publican's ears. You've got to be really enthusiastic and sell the quiz before you talk about what it's going to cost them.
Getting Paid to do Quizzes
There are two options from which to choose.
1. Charge the pub a fee, the going rate is between 50 and 80 pounds depending on your location. This can be a hard sell at first and if the publican doesn't say yes straight away then you are going to have to prove yourself. Tell them what your normal price is first but you will do it at cost, say 20 pounds, until the quiz gets busy. I've never had any problems charging for my work before but if you're struggling then remind them that the pub can charge 1 pound per person to play the quiz and offer small prizes. This will greatly offset the cost of paying you, they might even make a profit just in entry fees let alone all the drinks they're going to sell. The quiz should sell itself but if all else fails then you have option 2.
2. Do the quiz for free, but charge the customers. It's normal to charge 1 pound per person to play, at first you might not make much and your prizes are going to have to be small but if you stick with it I'm sure you will end up making enough for it to be worthwhile. If you're not happy with what you can make, maybe the pub is tiny, then what I do is have a game of bingo half way through. I usually keep half the money and offer the other half in prizes, not cash. I made a bingo DVD for this purpose which you can see a link to on the right.
Doing Pub Quizzes Full Time
The more pubs you get the more quizzes you will need, especially if they are in the same town. You never know, you might get a following and even if it's just one or two people you are going to need a different quiz every time. Making fun quizzes in particular is very time consuming, a good quiz will take you the best part of a day to make, this is probably why a lot of quizzes are only about general knowledge. My quizzes take longer because I make a different picture quiz every week and after you've done over a hundred it gets progressively more difficult to come up with new material. The same is true with the quiz questions, finding easy yet interesting questions after a while is another challenge. If this seems too much then I am here to do all the work for you for loose change. You can download my ready made fun pub quizzes in an instant for the price of a pint. They are proven, tried and tested on real quiz teams and they will serve you well.
If you would rather make the quizzes yourself then make sure that the questions are easy to answer. Make sure to have diverse rounds to give everyone a chance. If you need inspiration then take a good look around this website, you can easily and very quickly build your own quiz by downloading all the different add-ons we offer here. Also there are hundreds of free quiz questions for you to use on this website in your own quiz.
If you want to make your own quizzes without using our quiz packs then you will need a printer, ink, paper, pens, drawing software and office software. The more proficient you get at using the software the faster you will be able to put a quiz together.
Equipment you will need to do a pub quiz
Invest in a quality microphone. I would highly recommend buying a 'Sure' microphone because they are the best and don't cost a packet, get at least a middle of the range one. I use a guitar speaker with built in amp to plug my microphone into. It is very small, super quick and easy to set up and it can sit on anything. Buy a well known brand with at least low and high range knobs for adjusting the sound quality to make your voice sound better. You won't need more than 30 watts.
You can make a nice living out of this business and it's a nice job to have, it's super interesting and you get to meet a lot of nice people. I love it and look forward to every quiz night, I'm sure you will too.
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I write regular articles on my Pub Quiz Blog full of interesting trivia you can use in your pub quizzes. Simply tap the "G+" logo at the bottom of any page when you fancy a good read.
If you want to learn How to host a pub quiz and what to say and do then I've written an extensive article on it. You can read it by tapping on the help button at the top of every page of this website.