A game show host has the ability to make or break a game show by controlling the experience of each participant or audience member. The host controls a game show's rules, pacing, audience involvement, and more. Below are five simple things that every host should do to make a positive difference within their game shows.
1. Introduce the Game Show. Explain the rules, lay out the logistics of the game, and familiarize the contestants with how the game will be played & how they're expected to participate. It's important to run through these elements even if contestants are already familiar with your game show style. Remember, it's perfectly okay to change any rules as long as you explain the rule changes before the game show begins.
2. Know Your Material. Familiarize yourself with the questions and answers (even if you wrote them) before playing the game show. This will eliminate confusion and ambiguous judging calls later in the game. It can also help you catch any errors before you're in front of your audience. You may also want to print out an answer key that you can refer to throughout the game. Gameshow Pro has a host preview on the control screen for just this purpose.
3. Periodically Recap the Scores. Teams that are behind in the scores can become discouraged and "check out" of the game. Reviewing the scores keeps energy and competition high. It's also a great point to let teams know that there's still time to catch up. Adding bonus/wager questions or extra credit in your game show and increasing the point levels with each round or question difficulty also helps to keep lagging teams in the game.
4. Involve Everyone. If there are non-playing audience members in the room assign them to "cheer on" or help a particular team. You can also ask them follow up questions, have them contribute to discussions, or answer a question that is stumping the teams.
5. Rehearse. Running through your game show from start to finish before you're in front of your audience familiarizes you with the flow of the game show. You can also tweak the format and catch any errors. Having a co-worker or friend rehearse with you gives you valuable feedback both in spotting technical errors, and in pointing out the appropriate difficulty level for your questions.
Bonus Tip: Play to Your Strengths. Not everyone is a high-energy host, or is immediately comfortable hosting a game show. Practice can help alleviate anxiety, but the real secret is to be yourself while hosting. You don't have to try to be a comedian. The real objective is to convey the information at hand. Another secret is to select a game show that is appropriate to your hosting style. A low-key host might want to go with an AllPlay game, while a more outgoing host might enjoy Categories or Classroom Feud.