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Talking Stick

Talking Stick

The talking stick, also called a speaker's staff, is an instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes, especially those of indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast in North America - Wikipedia

A physical talking stick (or other object) can be used in an in-person meeting to ensure that only one person is talking at once, and has the space to talk without fear of interruption. Other participants don’t need to worry about getting a chance to speak, since they will also have their turn with the talking stick.

Ideaflip is ideal for running a remote meeting online that also uses the concept of a talking stick. Have each participant create a sticky note or image with their name on it, and then have an image or icon of a talking stick on the board. Participants may only talk when the talking stick is on their sticky note.

Some things to consider for a participatory group session:

  • Who chooses who the talking stick passes to next? The facilitator or the current speaker?
  • How do people indicate that they would like a chance to speak? Perhaps participants could move their sticky note to a waiting area, or put a lightbulb badge on their sticky note?
  • Should participants have a time limit on how long they can hold the talking stick for?
  • Should a participant have a limited number of turns with the talking stick until everyone has spoken?