Are you drowning in ideas for workshops or group programs (or both??)? You have so much content you could probably offer a 3-week workshop without any breaks? Are you exhausted just thinking about it?

You’re not alone. The coaches I talk to often tell me that they are overwhelmed by all the ideas they have and wonder if they’ll ever translate them into an actual workshop. They’ve got files and post-it notes, bookmarks in their browser, pages of ideas written out, dog-eared pages in books. Can you relate? You’re pretty sure you have enough ideas for SIX workshops, never mind one …  so you just don’t get started.

Here are four things you can do to beat back the overwhelm and shape your content into an AMAZING workshop:

Get clear on your purpose

Why do you want to offer workshops? What’s important to you about it? How will it benefit your clients and your business?

Knowing your ‘why’ is a critical part of the workshop design process. It’s also what will keep you focused and motivated when you’re feeling daunted by the volume of ideas or when those little voices of doubt are clanging around in your head.

You have a message to share, results you passionately want to see for your clients. When you are clear about your purpose and where it intersects with what your clients want for themselves, you’ll know what content you need to pull together.

Know your audience

The better you know your audience, the more effectively you can design for what they need. No matter how passionate you are about underwater basket-weaving, if your audience can’t relate to that topic, there’s no point in including content about it. Fundamentally, designing a workshop is much like designing our business: we need to identify who we serve and what problem we solve for them. When you are clear what your people need from you through your workshop, you will be able to choose your content to meet that need.

Craft powerful learning goals

One of the reasons we can drown in our content is because ALL our ideas and content are interesting and useful and IMPORTANT! How can you possibly leave anything out? Powerful learning goals become pillars to hang our content on. When we get really clear on exactly what we expect (and promise) our people they will be able to DO DIFFERENTLY by the end of our program, then the sorting process becomes much clearer. No matter how brilliant our content ideas, if they don’t serve one of the learning goals, then they aren’t meant for this program. (Don’t worry – you can always keep those gems for another workshop you design!) Similarly, we can determine if we’re missing any key content by ensuring that we have material that speaks to each learning goal.

Use a visual tool or process to help you sort your content

There are lots of ways to sort your content once you have learning goals to hang it on but using a visual tool is often very helpful to really see how much you have and how it all lines up. My favourite method is using post-it notes to sort it all out. You can write your content ideas on the notes and then move them around and group them around your learning goals. As you move them around, the right balance and sequencing will start to show itself. It will become visually apparent if you have too much content for one goal and not enough for another.

Once you have your content sorted, you’ll be ready to build in your scripts and your activities in order to make your program truly interactive and experiential. But that’s a topic for another post!


Think about your purpose.

  • What is your motivator for diving into the mass of content that you have and finally sorting it out?
  • What do you MOST want to share with your clients?
  • What will make the most difference for them?

Are you ready to turn that overwhelm into action and create the workshop you’ve been toying with?

I’ve created a system to help you turn your content into an amazing learning experience that you’ll be proud to offer your clients (and that they will buy!).

Sign up here to join me for The Design Lab: Eight Weeks to your Amazing Workshop. We start June 16th – just in time for your September launch!

Early Bird price ends June 8th so if this feels like the right fit for you, jump in now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.