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How to Host Trivia on Zoom

If there has been one silver lining to the lockdowns we experienced in 2020, it may be that people came to see how easy it is to stay in touch with friends and loved ones over video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Many pub quizzes went online, also, and used one or more video platforms to take care of the trivial needs of their regulars; some of these games attracted new players from across the country and even the planet! This article outlines how you can host and play trivia games on Zoom.


What to Know About Trivia Games on Zoom


While there are countless ways to host trivia over Zoom, one question must be answered first: How “official” do you want the game to be? We ask this because cheating can be a real problem when playing a trivia game over Zoom (while it is hard enough to monitor cheating during an in-person game, it is almost impossible to do so during a virtual game). 


At Trivialogy we decided the best way to answer this question is to use the honor system—if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. Since we do not offer prizes for our online game, there is little incentive for players to Google the answers. While some online trivia games played on Zoom combat cheating by having short time limits to answer questions, we decided that doing so would take away the best part of the game: talking about the questions and answers with teammates. In essence, we have tried to duplicate the experience of our in-person games. 


Step-By-Step Guide to Host Trivia Games on Zoom


Want to learn how to run your own Zoom trivia event? It’s easier than you would think! Here is the way we put together our virtual “Zooming with Trivialogy” game:

  1. Gather questions

  2. Create a PowerPoint

  3. Answer form

  4. Running the game

  5. Marking the answer form

#1 Gathering Trivia Questions:

Our regular format is 25 questions, one Imagram picture/word puzzle, and one round of music (which lasts about 90 minutes). We have also hosted virtual games of 15 questions and one round of music (about 45-60 minutes), and longer games of 30 questions, two Imagrams, and two rounds of music (about 120 minutes). If you are looking for questions, we suggest purchasing one of our weekly trivia packets.

#2 Creating a PowerPoint: 

When playing a trivia game on Zoom, we use PowerPoint to share the questions online. The first half of the presentation is questions without answers (to present during the game), and then we duplicate those slides to create the questions with answers (to go over at the end of the game). We insert the Imagram after Question 15 (players take a screenshot or a picture with their phone). We embed the music and then play it after Question #25. Click here for a PDF example of our PowerPoint (does not include animations).

#3 Creating an Answer Form: 


To play trivia over Zoom, you’ll need a trivia answer sheet. While you can’t use your typical printable trivia answer sheet, we have created online answer sheets using Google Forms. Online trivia players access the appropriate answer form (i.e.,15 or 25 questions, depending on the length of the game) by clicking on a link we include in the chat bar (or include in an email with login information). 


All questions are presented as “Short Answer” questions and the scribe for each team types in their answers. The form then collects the answers and populates a Google Spreadsheet, which allows us to mark their answers. 


Click here for a tutorial on how to use Google Forms:

#4 Running the Trivia Game on Zoom: 

When all trivia players have arrived, we use the “Share Screen” function on Zoom and then put the PowerPoint into “Slide Show” mode (F5). We then click through the slides, presenting them both verbally and visually, pausing about one minute between each question. Every five trivia questions we have a slide that gives a recap of the previous five questions suggest that the players take a screenshot or snap a picture with their phone, and then send them into “Breakout Rooms” for five minutes to discuss their answers. We visit the breakout rooms one at a time to see if the players need clarifications. 


When you get to the music portion of the game (should you choose to include one), be sure to select “Share Sound” when you use the “Share Screen” function—this will allow the music to go directly to their computers, rather than through your microphone.


Click here for a tutorial on how to use Break-Out Rooms on Zoom:

#5 Marking the Answer Forms: 


After the tiebreaker question has been asked and the players have been given one final session in the Breakout Rooms, we bring them all back to the main room and have them submit their Google Forms. Since the questions are all “short answer” questions, and the answers can vary—in spelling or wording—we have to mark the answer forms by hand. We navigate to the Google Spreadsheet, mark the answers, and then return to the main room (this takes about 15 minutes with ten teams). We then go back to the Zoom meeting, go over the trivia answers, and then announce the winners.

In Closing


If you would ever like to see one of our Zoom trivia games in action, feel free to send us an email and we will send you an invite to attend the next episode of “Zooming with Trivialogy”.

If you’re looking for questions to use on your next Zoom trivia game, consider using weekly trivia question packets from Trivialogy. Learn more about our weekly packets.

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