🙏🏽 Thanks to Julie (Boston) and Uri (London) for seeding this idea!
Or just scroll down to see them + other details.
They’re all black and white, made for normal 8.5" x 11" paper, and they were designed with a few different host personality types in mind. By no means are these required, but if you find them helpful, by all means download them!
Also, if you want other designs of this or have any ideas for other fun placards (or other good ways to make hosts more identifiable at tea time), write a Response Post or email me (ankit at teawithstrangers.com).
A few weeks of procrastination and about 20 minutes of actual work later, here we are.
(It’s the only thing that stands between you and tea time!)
Here are some considerations while thinking about good places to host tea time:
If you’re going to set aside 2 hours to orchestrate a conversation with strangers on some regular basis, you might as well take a few extra minutes to do it well.
The difference between a tea time that “was all right” and tea times that are “wow, just, wow” isn’t some sort of fairy dust. It’s easy to pin it on the attendees or chance, but to a large extent, it’s on how the host shows up.
These Host Utilities exist to make it easier for you to show up. Some of it is generally useful for all hosts. Some of it is meant to support you in very specific situations. Here you go:
Whether it’s your first tea time or your 25th, it can feel daunting to think about going to a cafe and waiting for 1–5 random people to show up. You don’t know who they are. They could just flake entirely! (It’s very easy to just not do things). What will you talk about?
They’re easy to remember, and they’re all important.
1–2 weeks before your tea time is a great opportunity to remind your friends, communities, and/or the internet-at-large that TWS exists, that you exist, that you’re a Host of TWS, that you have a tea time coming up, why you do this in the first place, and, of course, that they should tell their friends about your tea time. …
Hosting tea time is a deeply rewarding way to become a better listener, to ask questions that draw stories, and to find common ground between people or ideas that seem unrelated.
But nobody becomes good at something without practicing it. And if talking to people were all it took to become good at listening to them, asking questions, and finding common ground, well, we’d live in a very different world.
And there’s not quite a “gym” for this weirdly specific skill set — despite how unbelievably important it is for us to live in a world of positive assumptions and understanding attitudes. …
When reviewing applications, we’re looking for people that we think are genuinely interested in becoming a great host.
Below, you’ll find a few straightforward and a few not-so-straightforward resources to help you make your application a good one.
You don’t technically need to look at these to complete an application, but it’s also likely that we’ll be able to tell that you didn’t and it might not be the best fit. …
These are good to post across your social media presence — Instagram, Stories, or wherever you post photos. Try to be sure to include the link to the website in your captions or in a comment on the photos, as most platforms treat “photo posts” different from “link posts.”
You can also use your host profile photo, add teawithstrangers.com as your “link in bio,” update your cover photo, etc.
These might be relevant:
Illustrated by Megan Park, one of the first hosts in Los Angeles
Illustrated by Bianca Ng, an artist and ex-stranger / friend of TWS from NYC (we actually met her through a tea time!)
Talking to people about what Tea With Strangers is is cool. Sharing stories of why you care about it is cooler.
So actually, why do YOU host (or want to host) with Tea With Strangers? What in your life has brought you to this moment? What are you hoping for? Why is now an important time to sit with strangers for you? What does TWS mean to you?
When you feel like you know your story, share it with people when you tell them about tea times.
Here’s some inspo to help you spread the word about TWS:
It’s not so much about getting your friends to come to your tea time as it is about letting them know it exists (and getting their friends to come to tea times).
This might help:
People learning about TWS will resonate far more strongly with why you’re doing this, why you think it matters, how you learned about it, and your own experience of overcoming the inherent awkwardness that is TWS.