Intensive Program Information

 

Clarity First was incredibly useful.

It provided a framework through which I can structure my initial thoughts quickly and easily.

I have always been ok at delivering communications but the tools Davina taught me not only make the communications clearer and more concise, but have also greatly reduced the time taken to get to the end point.

I recommend the course to anyone who wants to make existing skills even better, or for those that want to create the foundations of great communication.

Michaela Flanagan

GM Performance and Strategy, Insurance industry

Hi Davina
I did your course last year. I found it extremely userful and continue to use the So What framework. I find it's a bullet-proof method for communicating anything!
I am now in a new role and Execs hae noticed a difference in how I communicate ideas – that they are clear, succinct and actionable, thanks to you!
I am softlly pushing to my manager (the COO) that we should get the execs and leads of the business to take your course so we can uplift the quality of our communication and way of thinking. He is interested to hear from you.
Let's arrange a time for a call.
Regards,
Bianca

Product Manager, Sydney, Australia

PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle. She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia.

Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk.

5 Business Communication Traps and how to avoid them

Complexity is at the heart of the challenge when communicating at work.

In this workshop I address five of the common traps that make it difficult for us to engage others in complex ideas and offer ideas on how to solve them.

    Click the play button below to learn more and here to download the handout and here for more program information and here for information for your manager.

     

    Communicate with Clarity and Confidence

    TWO LEARNING PATHWAYS AVAILABLE – 

    INTENSIVE – A structured and directed three-month program indepdendant learning program. Includes six highly interactive live workshops starting 22 September 2021 and running through to 27 October.

    CLASSIC – A self-directed blended learning program supported by regular live workshops. During the workshops we build pieces of communication together and address specific participant questions.

    REGISTRATIONS CLOSE 6 SEPTEMBER AT 9PM AEST.

    Hi Davina
    I did your course last year. I found it extremely userful and continue to use the So What framework. I find it's a bullet-proof method for communicating anything!
    I am now in a new role and Execs hae noticed a difference in how I communicate ideas – that they are clear, succinct and actionable, thanks to you!
    I am softlly pushing to my manager (the COO) that we should get the execs and leads of the business to take your course so we can uplift the quality of our communication and way of thinking. He is interested to hear from you.
    Let's arrange a time for a call.
    Regards,
    Bianca

    Product Manager, Sydney, Australia

    Hi Davina
    It’s s funny to listen to myself 🙂
    Perfectly happy for you to use however you would like.
    FYI – I also got an award for my great work today.  Nothing big but still, the recognition was nice.  I feel like much of it was thanks to the work I’ve done with you!
    Thanks for creating such a great program.
    See you next week!
    Cerise
    PS You can go here to hear Cerise's story along with that from several other program participants
    Cerise

    Program Manager, Sydney, Australia

    This was the best course I have done. I was always confident in my reasoning but not as confident with presenting it, particularly to audiences that were not on my wavelength.

    Davina has shown me how to organise my high level messages which gets me a better response from my audiences.

    In fact, when I used the approach to present to the sales team last week half of them came up to me individually afterwards to compliment me on my presentation. That has never happened before!

    Bojana

    Customer Experience Advisor, Sydney, Australia

     

    Clarity First was incredibly useful for me as it has provided a framework through which I am able to structure my initial thoughts quickly and easily.

    I have always been OK at delivering communications, but the tools Davina has taught me will not only make the communications clearer and more concise but the time taken to get to the end point has reduced greatly.

    I recommend the course to anyone who wants to make existing skills even better or for those that want to create the foundations for great communication.

    Michaela Flanagan

    GM Performance and Strategy, Insurance Industry

    Keywords: Art and Science of communicating complex ideas, workshop, free

    When using questions can be a bad idea

    When using questions can be a bad idea

    An email came across my desk this week as I was thinking about the most useful idea for you that would build on last week's focus of ‘saying what you mean'.

    It was an email from a tool that I use which was structured around a list of questions (see below).

    To me, using questions like this misses a big opportunity for a coherent story and makes the audience work far too hard to grasp the main idea. Here are the problems I see with structuring communication around questions with one caveat:

    The problem: structuring communication around questions almost guarantees your audience will miss your point

    #1 – By highlighting the questions in bold, you are prioritising it over the answer. This then leaves you exposed to the risk that the audience may decide your communication is not important enough to invest the time needed for them to find your message.

    #2 – By using questions as the main structuring device, you are at risk of providing your audience with the raw data rather than a coherent message that describes what the data means to your audience.

    I have often seen people identify the questions they need to answer to solve a problem, collect the evidence and then send the list of questions with their evidence underneath as their ‘communication'.

    This strategy ensures that both you and your audience miss the point. Your audience is less likely to get your message in part because you haven't articulated it to yourself.

    The caveat: FAQs can be useful when combined with a powerful story

    As a final caveat, I do understand that there are times that it is useful to have a series of FAQs (frequently asked questions), perhaps at the end of a presentation or information package. You will have seen our own FAQs on our site, for example.

    This is not the same as focusing your whole communication around the questions, which I would caution against.

    Cheers, Davina

    Keywords: #questions #synthesis #structure

     

    PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

    Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

    She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle. She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia.

    Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk.

    How to correlate your effort with your end game

    How to correlate your effort with your end game

    Do you wonder how much effort to invest in different pieces of communication?

    Do you prioritise according to …

    • who your audience is
    • the type of document it is (email, paper, PowerPoint?)
    • how much time you have to prepare it, or
    • the business impact it will generate?

    Let's use two routine examples that emerged in my coaching work this week to think about this and refine how we think about each of them using a simple framework.

    First, two routine examples to set the scene

    Imagine you have two emails to prepare today:

    Example 1: A 250 word email seeking leadership support. You need your five-person leadership team to agree to change the course of your project in light of complications caused by an unexpected technical glitch.

    The change doesn't require any extra budget but does require your team to change their priorities which will lead to deprioritising another important project.

    Example 2: A 150 word email to 3,000 staff. You have discovered a new security vulnerability in the latest Google Chrome release and need the whole organisation to manually update their browser immediately.

    The steps that each of the 3,000 people need to take are simple but critical and you are aware that many of your employees are not ‘tech savvy' and may need explicit instructions to complete the update.

    So, how do you decide how to proceed?

    Next: a simple framework to help you prioritise your effort

    By thinking about two important dimensions: impact and size of audience, we get to a different conclusion.

    This allows us to correlate our effort and our end game by prioritising our effort according to a balance between the impact the communication will deliver and the risk of slowing the organisation down (or worse) if it goes wrong.

    And … a counter-intuitive conclusion

    Both of these examples need ‘proper' investment but using this approach we would pay more attention to the Google Chrome vulnerability email. Here's why:

    Although the email to all staff seemed fairly simple, the risks and potential time loss were both higher than that for the leadership email.

    If the staff email was poorly done, the cost to the organisation would have been substantial

    • The steps for updating the Chrome vulnerability were easy if you were ‘tech savvy', but could be time consuming if not. In the real situation it proved to be easy to convolute the steps confusing colleagues and leaving a real possibility that they would give up. Aggregate this over 3,000 people and the cost to the organisation of getting it wrong is pretty big.
    • The current risk of being hacked is also intense for this organisation, making the risk of not updating the browsers higher than normal.

    If the leadership email was poorly done, the cost would have been less significant

    • The cost to the organisation of the ‘hourly rate' of these leaders taking time to ask questions to clarify the message is less than the potential time cost of the staff email
    • The risks to the organisation are minimal as no extra budget or skills were required and time lost could be caught up in other ways if the project needed to return to the original schedule
    • The project leader is likely to have other opportunities to put their case in the not too distant future should there be confusion stemming from the email

    I hope that provides some food for thought this week and look forward to sharing more ideas with you next week.

    Kind regards,
    Davina

    ‘Pitch your boss' kit to help you this budget season
    If you want your manager to invest in your development, you need to do your homework before you have the conversation. Your manager will want to know exactly why this is the right program for you and how it will help the team and the organisation. We have provided a brochure, a draft script and some steps to follow to help you prepare for your conversation. Clarity First opens again in September

    PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

    Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

    She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle. She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia.

    Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk.

    How ‘constraints’ help create meaning

    How ‘constraints’ help create meaning

    It is fascinating to me that the whole idea of ‘constraints' feels like more of a limitation than a liberation.

    Nobody – me included – likes being kept in physical or intellectual shackles and yet they are incredibly powerful. Liberating, even.

    If we trust a simple set of constraints – rules – we can invest our thinking energy where it has most impact.

    In the case of preparing communication, this means creating greater meaning as economically as possible.

    This has been more evident than usual in my coaching sessions in past weeks and I wanted to share an example with you.

    When coaching a finance executive yesterday, we went from making bland and frankly boring statements to communicating impactful ideas by using constraints.

    In this particular case, our main message needed to be a recommendation rather than an observation. Let me show you what I mean:

    Observation – We are allocating unspent funds to teams that have demonstrated that they can be compliant with the ABC policy funding agreement

    Recommendation – We recommend allocating the unspent funds to teams that have invested in a step-change in talent development

    The second version is so much more meaningful – and interesting. It is also the result of sticking to some simple rules, or ‘constraints' that push for clarity and insight.

    Similarly, we have been talking about constraints in the problem solving context during the recent Clarity in Problem Solving program.

    I was delighted to see in a recent HBR article that I am not alone in encouraging people to stick to some simple constraints.

    >> Click here to access the article and another recent one by me on the topic of constraints also.

    I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

    PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

    Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

    She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle. She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia.

    Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk.