"If you donít spend weeks preparing for your specialist subject, then youíre wasting an opportunity"
Exclusive Interview With David Clark - Part 3 Ľ
Interview by Jamie Miller
How should a person prepare for answering questions in a studio as opposed to a pub competition?
This very much depends on which show it is. Lets start with Mastermind. To some extent you have a certain amount of control over your own destiny through the Specialist Subject. If you donít spend weeks preparing for your specialist subject, then youíre wasting an opportunity. Having a structured programme of revision using tried and trusted techniques Ė such as my flashcard method Ė are guaranteed to bring dividends.
However for the majority of shows, actually trying to learn stuff in the weeks leading up to the show may be a waste of time. Iím sorry if thatís negative, but think about it in this way. General Knowledge, as a subject, is incredibly vast. Even on a show like Mastermind, the maximum number of General Knowledge questions you can possibly be asked is less than 30. What, then, are the odds that any one question youíve learned specifically for the show will actually be asked ? Pretty slim, and the principal is the same for most quiz shows.
Does that mean that you canít or shouldnít prepare ? No, only that you have to prepare in a different way. I donít think that in the few weeks you have leading up to a show you can improve your optimum performance level that much. But what you can do is try to ensure that you at least reach that optimum level, or at least close to it.
Think carefully about the type of show that you are on. Many shows put you under time pressure for an answer. So therefore itís a good idea to practice answering questions at speed. Perhaps you need to be quick on the buzzer. You can practice this by having a friend or family member chuck questions at you from a book, and you have to slap the table to simulate going for the buzzer before you can answer. Silly ? Perhaps, but if it allows you to get the best out of yourself then maybe its something to consider.
Get your head right, basically. Going on a TV quiz is a funny old business, very enjoyable, and it gets easier the more you do it, but even so itís a little strange. I know this is going to sound strange, but try to convince yourself that whatever happens really doesnít matter, and youíll probably do a lot better.
Read part 4 of this interview to find out what you can do to perform as well as Dave: Page 4
DAVID CLARK'S TOP TIP Ľ
"... itís a good idea to practice answering questions at speed... You can practice this by having a friend or family member chuck questions at you from a book, and you have to slap the table to simulate going for the buzzer before you can answer"
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