When creating a quiz in PowerPoint, the temptation is to try and please every single person in the audience by presenting them with a multitude of questions on a huge variety of different subjects. In other words, we know that the members of our audience come from vastly differing backgrounds and have a smorgasbord of different experiences and we want each one to be able to answer a good number of questions. We want to present a wide variety of subjects to inspire interest, some difficult questions to test the participants and make it more interesting, and we also want to ask some questions that we think our audience will be able to answer, to engage them and increase their confidence.
In doing the above, however, the danger is that your carefully crafted quiz may grow in size at an alarming rate! Yes, you have a few questions that everybody can answer, but you had to create 3,000 questions to do that!
If you’re planning a quiz I would bear in mind the following guidelines.
Rule 1: Make it fun! If nothing else, follow Rule 1.
Nobody will thank you if you make your quiz-goers sit through a 2 hour quiz that bores them to death.
Types Of Question
There are many different ways you can vary the questions you ask. Here are some suggestions:
What The Question Asks
- “When” questions. When did Queen Boadicea rules?
- “What” questions. What is a solar eclipse?
- “Who” questions. Who was the lead singer of the Beatles?
- You can explore the whole gamut of who, what, whey, when, how, etc.
The Medium Of The Question
Questions can be delivered in many different media. Here are some options open to you:
- Say the question. “How many are in a Baker’s Dozen?”
- Provide a picture: “Who is this?”. “What animal is this?”
- Play some music. “What instrument is this?” “Name the song”
When To Give Breaks
If it’s a long quiz, do yourself a favour and introduce a break before your audience gets bored/irritated/disengaged. In making the quiz fun, you need to think about giving your participants a break. Otherwise this quiz will seem too much like “work” (or worse – “torture”).
Personalise The Quiz Where Possible
If you can, use nuggets of information you’ve collected about members of your audience. If you know someone’s favourite band is the Rolling Stones, include a pop question that involves the Rolling Stones. If you heard that another member plays tennis for a local club, include some questions about famous tennis stars of the past. You get the picture. Make the quiz “general”, but include questions that will spark the interest of individuals too.
There is nothing worse than a participant who feels that they know nothing: to them, every question in the quiz may as well be asked in a different language.
Don’t Make The Quiz Too Long
I’ve sometimes made the mistake of delivering a quiz that was far too long. After not too short a time, participants started taking their own breaks, whether I was ready or not. So, be aware of how long you think the quiz will take in total, and also how long each section will take. Don’t make the entire quiz take too long, and schedule in regular breaks.
Giving The Answers
As judge and jury, you must use your power wisely. It won’t serve you to be too strict and mark “wrong” answers that are in the most part right. The viability of the following point depends on the nature of the quiz. If it’s an informal family quiz, perhaps given at Christmas, the following point stands. If it’s a strict team vs team affair at work, it might be completely different! Be prepared to allow someone a right answer, even if you know damn well that it’s wrong! You must remember that the whole point of having a quiz is to have fun.
Doing the above will make them want you back for the next Christmas Quiz.