20 Talking Points to Keep the Conversation Flowing at the TpT Conference

I’m not an introvert by any means, but I do struggle with small talk.  It’s especially difficult in a situation where it’s expected to take place like a conference or party.

Many of us are going to be face to face with each other in just a few short weeks at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference.   I know the thought of being in a room with hundreds of others of teachers makes many of you want to lock the hotel room door and not even come out.

Believe it or not, even us extroverts think about these kinds of situations.

There are going to be plenty of opportunities to network with other people, and I will tell you from personal experience that you don’t want to miss out on these types of conversations.  You never know how someone else can help you or how you can help someone else.  We’re all in this together.

small talk

It’s great to find out everyone else’s name, store names, and where they’re from, but where do you go from there?

“Soooooo….do you like stuff?” is really not a good conversation starter.  Why not try these 20 questions to find out more about the person in front of you.

  1. How long have you had a store on TpT?
  2. What are some of the things you struggle with the most on TpT?
  3. What is the one thing you’ve done on TpT that has had the most positive impact to your business?
  4. What are your goals with your TpT store?
  5. Are there any tools you use that make your product creation process easier?
  6. What would you do differently if you were just opening up a TpT store today?
  7. How do you market your products on TpT?
  8. What sessions are you attending at the conference?
  9. When do you work on TpT products?
  10. What types of products do you create?
  11. Who are some of the TpT sellers you most admire?  Why?
  12. What’s the most successful product you sell?  Why do you think that is?
  13. What do you think about the future of TpT?
  14. Do you communicate with other sellers outside of the forums?
  15. Do you use the TpT app?  Like the Cha-Ching or not?
  16. What are you hoping to take away from the conference?
  17. Do you blog?  How often?  What do you write about?
  18. What content/grade levels have you taught in the past?
  19. Do you have any plans to attend any of the social events while here in Vegas?
  20. Have you ever seen a Vegas show?  Which one is your favorite?  (for the record the correct answer is Beatles Love @ the Mirage)

The conversation isn’t meant to be a job interview and shouldn’t be forced.  It should be fun and light-hearted.  No one wants to listen to a complainer either.  Leave that crap at the airport.

Remember, the person across from you is likely just as nervous as you are.  Have a blast at the conference, and I look forward to meeting everyone.

I’d love to see some other questions that could be added to the list in the comments.  Post em if ya got em.

6 Responses

  1. Christina winter June 20, 2015 / 4:02 am

    Perfect!!! My favorite line….leave the crap at the airport!!! Haha. I am going to introduction myself to you at the conference, I am coming to your session 🙂
    Have a great vacation!

  2. Susan at The ESL Nexus June 20, 2015 / 4:59 am

    These are great questions! Especially #20. 🙂 Here are some more for your list:
    * What’s your favorite subject to teach and why?
    * How did you come up with your store name and logo?
    * What made you get started on TpT?
    * What do you enjoy most about TpT?
    * Have you ever attended a local TpT get-together and if yes, how was it organized?
    I feel like I should make a cheat sheet and carry it with me throughout the conference so I can market myself well! Speaking of which, I’m looking forward to your panel session on marketing.

    — Susan at The ESL Nexus

    The ESL Connection

  3. TeachingTurningFrownsIntoSmiles June 22, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    This is perfect and just what people needed to hear. I believe we are all hear to learn and to take something back that will enhance our stores 10 fold and while teaching is a very personal business, it is still a business nonetheless! Thank you for sharing and I hope everyone reads this. I also agree with Susan and what she stated with regards to additional questions

  4. Julie Herrmann June 24, 2015 / 12:33 am

    I love these tips since I am an introvert and I am often not sure of how to keep a conversation going. Last year for teacher bloggers I already followed and wanted to meet, I told them how they inspired me, and how one of their products have helped me in the classroom. I also asked if I could take a photo with them. This was a big deal for me, considering I was a bundle of nerves and attended the conference by myself. This year, thanks to last year’s networking, I began collaborating with quite a few teacher bloggers on blog topics, promotions, and celebrations. I look forward to meeting everyone I didn’t get a chance to meet before, and thanking them in person for their efforts in building our TpT community. I also agree that Beatles LOVE is the best show, and I saw it a second time last summer, bringing my parents who grew up during the 50s and 60s and they loved it as well. TeacherMsH

  5. Kelsea June 24, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    Great list Chris! I can’t believe the conference is only two weeks away! I wasn’t able to make it last year so I’m super excited to meet everyone this year! Hope to see you there!
    Teacher Gems

  6. Regina Frazier From 123kteach July 7, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    I can’t wait to attend the conference and meet up with so many of you. This will be my first TPT conference and my first time in Vegas. Chris, this is a great list of tips. I look forward to attending your presentation.

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