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What is a Saturday Salon? A Saturday Salon is a group of about 8-15 people you gather together (monthly or whenever you feel like it), usually in your home, to share a fun evening of great food and stimulating conversation, using a unique Talking Stick format, so everyone gets a chance to talk. Topics are open and every evening is unique and current, because the topics are ever-changing.

Who invented the Saturday Salon? Although conversation salons have been around since before the French Revolution, Valerie Davisson created the Saturday Salon, a unique conversation salon, about ten years ago to create a place for people with something to say…a place to say it! It’s a fun, open place to have meaningful conversations.

What is the purpose of a Saturday Salon? Is it political or religious? There is no agenda for a Saturday Salon, other than getting people to talk with each other, building friendships and community, and having fun! People are often motivated and inspired, but there is no agenda. All topics, including religion and politics can and are open for discussion. The Talking Stick format keeps the peace!

What is a Talking Stick and how is it used? The Talking Stick simply ensures that everyone gets to be heard. No one can interrupt you if you are holding the Talking Stick. This practice is borrowed from native American traditions. Talking sticks were used in councils to ensure that everyone gets a chance to be heard, just as they are in a conversation salon.

Who decides what will be talked about that evening? This is the cool part! YOU and YOUR GUESTS! While people are enjoying the potluck feast during the first hour of the evening, they can write up to two questions on strips of paper you have available to everyone and put them in the hat or bowl you have set out. You can have some suggestions in case they can’t think of anything, but people usually have no trouble coming up with things to talk about that have been on their mind that week!

What happens next? How does it work? When the discussion part of your conversation salon begins, you just have someone pick a question from the hat, hand them the talking stick, and you’re off and running! When they’ve answered the question, they pass the talking stick to the next person and they give their thoughts, until everyone has had a chance to speak. Then you pick another question.

How can I get started right away? You can always join our online conversation salon on the blog, but the best way to experience a Saturday Salon is to attend one, or start one of your own!  Whichever way you decide to go, get started today!

Where can I learn more about Saturday Salons? In the book, SATURDAY SALON: Bringing Conversation and Community Back into Our Lives, you can explore the history of salons, the various types of conversation salons, details on how to host a Saturday Salon, and much more.

Can I get help hosting a SATURDAY SALON? Yes! Send us a note through the Contact page. If you are in the Orange County area, and Valerie is available, she’ll help you host one herself!