more talk. less stuff.

Let's talk about the stuff you take with you when you give a presentation or a workshop or talk at an event:  the pens with your logo on them, the painstakingly produced brochures and booklets, the printouts of PowerPoint presentations that can also be found on your website.

I know all this stuff is designed to remind people later about the presentation you did--and cue them to become clients or customers or donors.

But, really, what happens to most of those pens?  They get passed from person to person, and none of those people looks at the logo along the way.  Eventually, they get tossed.

And what happens to most of those PowerPoint presentation printouts?  Maybe your audience takes a few notes on them.   Then they get stuffed in a bag, added to a stack, and discovered three years later when some new employee recycles them in a clean-out effort.

And what about the beautiful brochures and booklets you toted over?  Again, life in a bag, a stack, and the recycling bin.

It can be scary to show up with nothing but yourself, a few notes, and a handful of business cards.  Especially when the host says, "Hey, here's a table for all the stuff you've brought to send home with people."

But even if it's a little scary, I think it's great news.  You don't need to worry about gathering an arsenal of stuff to remind people later what you did in your presentation.  So you can spend more time preparing a kick-ass talk that people will remember on their own.

This week, I'm exploring the idea that we don't need stuff to prove what we've done.  This post is part of an ongoing series on women's voices.