I like a good burrito every now and then. Some chicken, black beans, rice, cheese, and salsa – yum. But, when you overstuff it – the results are not pretty. You can be sure that after a few bites in, the stuffing will be everywhere.

Today, I was doing some research for a client. As I was skimming an article “don’t overstuff the burrito” jumped off the page. The author was relating it to creating a workshop agenda. Here’s a link to the full article.

I. Freaking. Love. This. Analogy.

When we have the right amount on our agenda, our participants consume it. But you add too much? It can get messy. We want to avoid things getting messy.

I am guilty of this too. I want to give that extra piece of value to my audience. I believe I can (and they) can handle it. Yet, more often than not, I push the boundaries of what my audience can absorb. I know better.

Last week, I got it right. It was for a Lunch and Learn about building a better workshop. I only had an hour and 15 mins of that would include introductions. I could have packed the remaining 45 mins with as much content as I thought was relevant and useful. I knew I could overstuff it. So I decided to approach it from a different angle.

I designed a “workshop” on building a workshop. I created an agenda consisting of three items. I wrote out five questions. I allocated time for each question to be answered and discussed.  I had a total of 9 slides counting the intro, agenda, and my contact info. My plan was to guide the conversation and let the audience add the content.

Do you want to know something? No one got burrito fixings on their hands. In fact, I had some of the most positive feedback I have ever received. The audience liked how they had time to think about and discuss the topic. They appreciated being able to reflect on how they would use it in their business. Some even told me they were able to apply their new knowledge later that day.

It was a valuable reminder that often less is better.

So, next time you are creating content and an agenda, ask yourself if you are overstuffing the burrito.