Take Control of the Hole

Hosting Talkaoke is a bit like playing a musical instrument. Essentially there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The more practice you have, the better you will be. Be yourself and your own style, personality and talent will emerge. At The People Speak, we are always learning new elements to it. Have a go in the middle of the table and you too could eventually be contributing to these pages.

The most important thing to remember is this; it is up to the audience to decide what to talk about. There is never a set agenda. The host should not add any opinions, facts or information to the conversation, but work spontaneously with whatever the participants around the table have provided. The host tries to be entirely neutral. Their role is to encourage, engage and enthuse the participants, and find commonalities between diverse parties. The conversation will shift from topic to topic. This is conducive to finding new connections and insights and exploring the collective imagination.

Although you are sitting in the middle of the table, Talkaoke is not about you, but about developing the relationships between participants around the table.

The most difficult thing for any new host is to hold a conversation in 360 degrees. The host must use their eyes and face to amplify visual feedback between participants. Get used to looking meaningfully into everybody’s eyes around the table, not just the person talking. It’s a little counterintuitive and takes a bit of practice. When Talkaoke is going well you could almost be unnoticeable in the middle and could even disappear. You simply become a lazy Susan for the microphone.


Get yourself in the middle of the table. You’ll learn every minute!

2 Rules

Talkaoke has two rules. Everything else is just a guideline.

No Singing

No Fighting

The prohibition of singing is more important than it seems. It’s not out of any antipathy to the world of song. Once the singing starts it’s hard to return to discussion. The no fighting rule is self explanatory. It is important to be able to differentiate a healthy and productive difference of opinion from personal antagonism and insult. Spotting this and how to diffuse difficult situations is covered later. Remember the design of the Talkaoke table is conducive to consensus and empathy, so everything is in your favour.

Here are the some of the things we have learned, broken down into 3 easy stages

Talkaoke Hosting- the Basics

Getting the flow going!

Tricks of the Trade

Here are some tips on how to get the right circumstances to make your Talkaoke successful. Our Preparation page shows you how.

Further Elements

The Neutral Host

The Stooge

Uses of Humour


2 Responses to “Take Control of the Hole”

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