Understand your audience
Say what matters. Understand your audience deeply so you can craft messages that land with any audience, any time.
Get to the right point. You don’t have to be a natural born communicator to engage a business audience, but you do need a clear point of view that motivates them to action.
Communicate like a leader
Anywhere, any time. Using our So What Strategy framework you’ll get faster responses, quicker approvals, better decisions and stand out for the right reasons.
ADD MORE VALUE
Get faster approvals
Clarify your thinking so you can deliver the right message to the right people in the right way.
This will lead to shorter and more powerful communication that is acted upon more quickly, less friction with stakeholders and faster approvals.
It will also help you stand out as a high-performer who can think technically and communicate strategically.
SAVE (lots of) TIME
Tired of staring blankly at the keyboard? Wary of relying on the last similar document one of your predecessors used without having confidence that it will get the engagement you need?
Use our rigorously tested storyline frameworks built on decades helping executives across hundreds of sectors, specialties and geographies.
Be guided by the hundreds of searchable real-world examples in the program portal.
Cut and paste from our sample papers and PowerPoints as well as our paper templates.
Master structured thinking techniques from top-tier management consulting firms tailored to help you in your context, whether that is consulting, business, not for profit or government.
Learn from someone who has designed and delivered high-ranking learning programs for top-tier firms including McKinsey and BCG as well as organisations across most other sectors.
Go beyond platitudes like these: 'keep it short', 'don't use so much detail', 'be more strategic' without knowing exactly what they mean.
Instead, know the precise steps to take any time you sit down to communicate. Use the same process whether you are thinking through an email, a paper, a presentation or voicing your ideas in a meeting.
Convey powerful insights that engage your audience in any forum, no matter how complex your ideas or how demanding your audience.
Choose your pathway - self-directed or scheduledDecide whether to progress at your own pace while supported by regular working sessions or participate in our Intensive Program during Q1 2023.
FIRST, LEARN THE SO WHAT STRATEGY FRAMEWORK
Communicate more clearly
Start learning immediately. You will learn how to build a storyline in your own time by completing 4 hours of freshly revised short, powerful online modules while being supported during our regular group working sessions. This initial stage involves two separate components:
Begin with our Accelerator modules - 1 hour of short modules introducing our approach while also offering insights to help you 'get around' early challenges with using and applying the approach in your world.
Progress to the Core Curriculum - 3 hours of short videos plus challenges and extension activities. Work through the So What Strategy framework in a step-by-step fashion, by learning to ...
- Design your strategy. Clarify your purpose, understand your audience deeply and plan how you will collaborate to fine tune messaging
- Develop your storyline. Think through the different storyline elements to arrive at clarity and insight that will resonate with your leaders.
- Deliver your communication. Once your thinking is clear, you can then convert your storyline into an email, paper, PowerPoint or other type of communication deliverable.
Participants start to receive feedback like this about the increased clarity of their communication as they work through this level.
"The communication is clear and easy to understand" and "I like the clarity of the one-pager"
In the most recent program one participant was complimented by his CEO on his analysis. The CEO said:
"Your email and paper were so clear the SLT doesn't need to meet. We know what we need to do."
Click here for curriculum information.
Classic Pathway - complete these modules in your own time and join the Sprint level when you are ready
Intensive Pathway - complete these modules ideally before our six weekly workshops begin in February 2023. These 90-minute workshops will run at noon (AEDT).
then deepen your understanding, strengthen your practice
Communicate with greater insight
Now it is time to move beyond 'just' communicating clearly to delivering insight with greater ease.
You can choose to attend live workshops as part of our Intensive Pathway, or learn at your own pace via recordings along our Classic Pathway.
Either way, you will build on your core understanding to leverage our seven powerful and time-saving most commonly used storyline patterns.
Classic Pathway - watch the recorded sessions in your own time
Intensive Pathway - participate in our six live workshops scheduled from 16 February 2023. Download the program planner here for more information.
Participants have commented at this stage:
"Better structure has meant that conversations are more focused and substantive"
and have received this feedback:
From colleagues - “Excellent and most transparent financial message”
From the CEO - “The clearest and most concise finance paper I have seen in 3.5 years”
PRACTICE SO YOU MASTER COMMUNICATING IN MORE SOPHISTICATED SITUATIONS
Consistently see your papers and presentations approved first go
Work toward mastery. Join or watch recorded topical workshops that help you consistently communicate complex ideas with clarity and confidence.
Collaborate with other program members to align complex stakeholder groups around major pitches and leaders wanting fresh eyes on their papers and proposals.
Participants routinely comment how insightful they find it to be working on other people's communication. They can see 'the forest' in ways they often cannot when preparing their own.
Classic Pathway - participate in working sessions once you complete the Core and Sprint levels.
Intensive Pathway - participate in working sessions during the program and arrange continued access for $99 per month or $990 for a year after your initial Intensive Pathway program ends.
Practical resources to strengthen your communication and save time right from video 1
Clarity First supports you as you learn at your own pace alongside a global network of motivated professionals at your stage of development.
First, learn the core concepts, and then build as you apply them to an increasingly wide range of practical situations.
This training gave me tools & templates to implement. I implemented and realised the results straight away.
People came to me and provided feedback about the tremendous change in my clear communication approach.
Highly recommended, Thanks a lot Davina !!!
Mark, senior manager, Data Quality
Access the curriculum anywhere, any time on any device. The So What Strategy curriculum includes 5 hours of videos (each 3 to 15 minutes long) supported by a mix of theoretical and practical challenges.
Access a vast library of materials to suit your specialty, sector and level of experience. This includes practical tips from my weekly email, 'Sound Bite' lessons, recorded MasterClasses, templates and tools to help you implement our approach.
Learn from our recent live sessions even if you can't be there in person. Explore a treasure trove of sample documents catering to a plethora of professional situations.
Find answers to your technical storylining questions among this extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.
We offer extra courses to help participants with topics that will add to their ability to communicate better. Clarity in Problem Solving is one example.
Sign up for live working sessions that suit your learning level and interests, eg working sessions, MasterClasses and Sprints.
join the program for $149 per month
STEP CLOSER TO COMMUNICATING LIKE A LEADER TODAY
A BIT ABOUT DAVINA
I love what I do.
I have had the pleasure of helping smart people all over the world to clarify and communicate complex ideas for the past 20+ years.
I began this work when I joined McKinsey & Company in Hong Kong as a Communication Specialist and have built a team of eight here in Australia that helps others see their good ideas get the traction they deserve.
The structured approach that I teach, the So What Strategy, helps people from almost every discipline.
I know this because not only do I teach, I get in the trenches alongside my clients and prepare the communication with them.
It offers a universal thinking process that enables you to articulate the breakthrough ideas lurking beneath the surface of your communication.
Scroll down to hear what participants say.
HEAR FROM PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
HEAR FROM PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
ASK ANYTHING YOU WANT ...
Frequently Asked Questions
Clarity First is a powerful program for experts who want to engage others in complex ideas.
Participants typically join when they realise they need to communicate to more sophisticated and demanding audiences. They are capable and motivated professionals who have often not been taught how to communicate at senior levels of business.
Here is an extensive list of 'FAQ's.
Email us any time if you have further questions.
What will I achieve?
We regularly see people cut both the length of time it takes to prepare their communication and the time it takes to get a result halve.
Here are some examples:
- Anthony's Chief Financial Officer started getting responding to his emails within the hour rather than providing delayed or no responses.
- Cerise started seeing her Steering Committees agreeing with her recommendations the first time she presented them.
- Stefan went from preparing 50+ pages for his business cases to preparing just 2 pages - and getting a fast 'yes'.
- Rebecca and her team cut the amount of time it takes to prepare board papers by 60%.
- Javed was told that his finance paper was the best the CEO had seen in his 3.5 years with the company.
- Alice, an analytics professional, who is not a native English speaker, has become the 'go to' person in her team when they are preparing any important communication.
How is Clarity First different from other communication programs?
Clarity First provides a ‘go to’ framework that helps you clarify your thinking before communicating in any situation.
We see good communication as an outcome of clear thinking, that emerges as a result of a simple and repeatable process.
This means no more drafting long papers or PowerPoints and then iterating endlessly on them, but rather using a structured technique to map your ideas onto a single page, socialise it and only then prepare your final piece of communication with speed.
We don't see the communication itself is not the be-all, rather the ‘be-all’ is the impact you have.
We are delighted when you work through our process and realise you do not need to communicate at all.
This happens more often than you might expect.
Who is the program for?
Clarity First is for anyone who wants to engage their stakeholders in complex ideas.
Participants are smart professionals who have never been taught the skills they need to communicate in a way that engages other busy executives, particularly decision makers.
Current participants include those in analytics, consulting, project management, the law, organisational development, research, technology and more.
They typically have 15 or more years' experience, but include professionals with anywhere from 5 years to 30+ from all corners of the globe.
Who facilitates the program?
Davina Stanley founded and facilitates this program with occasional support from her team.
Davina learned the foundations of her craft at McKinsey & Company, and has been helping technical experts to communicate clearly for more than 20 years.
She leads a team of 8 structured communication specialists based in Australia who increasingly travel internationally to serve clients from a wide range of industries.
Where Davina is not able to do so, her team members (most of whom are McKinsey trained) will provide document feedback during the program.
Davina is the co-author of The So What Strategy, which offers what she see as the seven most commonly used storyline patterns in business.
What support do you provide?
We offer regular live working sessions where we work through a challenge together. These are typically held monthly at times that suit almost any time zone and are available to all program members.
How much time do I need to allow?
This depends on your chosen learning pathway.
Intensive Pathway participants need 2-3 hours per week for a shorter period of time for learning. This allows them to join the live workshops as well as complete the online modules. They will also be experimenting with the approach in their live work.
Classic Pathway participants learning at their own pace typically invest 1- 2 hours per week for focused learning while also practicing their new skills at work (so they can get that time back really quickly).
Foundation Pathway participants time investment varies greatly. These participants enjoy extra 1-1 private coaching with me and tend to be highly active in the program's working sessions and Intensive Workshops.
Participants tell me they quickly ‘get back’ the time invested as they answer fewer clarification questions, fight fewer mis-fires and have a familiar and universal process to use when preparing their communication.
Having said that, I do observe that most participants' interaction with the program varies as other priorities take them away.
I regularly see times when they 'binge' and then times when they rest before coming back.
What does the program cost?
There are three participation levels, allowing those who want extra opportunities to work directly with Davina to receive more attention.
The Intensive Pathway is available for $1,290 including taxes. It provides three months' access to the full program plus six live workshops. These are scheduled at noon AEDT on 6 Thursdays from 16 February 2023. Participants are also welcome at our regular Tuesday working sessions scheduled at the same times.
The classic program costs $159 per month including taxes.
There are a couple of other things to note about the payment process:
- Tax invoices and receipts can be provided
- Registration can be confirmed with a credit card payment during the registration window, or bank deposit, a purchase order or a formal email from the person responsible for payment explaining when payment will arrive.
Go here to join the waitlist - or to register, if registration is currently open.
What are my payment options?
You have two options:
#1 - If paying monthly, you can pay with credit card via our secure payment portal on the website. We use Stripe as our payment gateway, which is well recognised as a secure and easy to use platform.
#2 - If your employer is funding your place in the Intensive Program, you may submit a purchase order to us as evidence of your commitment to the program. We understand that corporate procurement processes can take time, and allow you to start the program once the PO is provided.
How does the guarantee work?
If you get into the program and realise that it does not do what we say it will do for you, please let us know within the first 14 days.
We will refund you in full, no questions asked.
We hope you will explain what went wrong so we can learn from your experience, but will automatically provide a 100% refund regardless.
How do I register?
Click THIS LINK and you will either be taken to the registration page during our 'open period' or to our 'waitlist' page to be notified when registrations reopen.