Clarity First Express

Learn structured communication techniques from a top-tier consultant
so you can communicate complex ideas with clarity and confidence

Life's too short to be reworking drafts. Get fast decisions instead.

Too many of my clients tell me they spend their nights and weekends reworking important communication multiple times and still don't get the results they need..

Clarity First Express offers 11 compact modules that will help you clarify and communicate your message no matter how complex.

It introduces structured thinking techniques developed by top-tier consultants and recontextualised for executives in business and government.

Taught by Davina Stanley, author of The So What Strategy, who has introduced structured thinking techniques to professionals globally for 25+ years.

Clarity First Express provides practical ideas and examples at every stage


Accelerate your understanding with the first 3 modules

The first 3 modules introduce our So What Strategy structured communication approach including

  • Our high-level storylining approach and how to use it for simple communication such as emails right through to more complex papers and PowerPoints
  • Thinking strategies to use when communicating (and solving problems)
  • Hacks to help you employ the ideas within corporate templates such as business cases, board papers and other corporate communication frameworks

We encourage you to put the ideas into practice immediately so you can build your skills iteratively and quickly.

The sooner you use the ideas the faster you will progress.


Watch the remaining 8 videos and complete the exercises

Each module includes a short video with accompanying notes and at least one exercise that makes you think. We want you to not only remember the concepts, but process them so they stick in your long term memory. We also, of course, want you to use them straight away. Course topics explain how to

Design your strategy – clarify your purpose, understand your audience (deeply!) and plan your working process.

Develop your storyline – create context with your introduction, articulate your single ‘so what' message, build a logical and engaging set of supporting points using either a grouping or deductive structure.

Deliver your communication – how to communicate your ideas verbally, in prose or PowerPoint.



Download and use the notes, templates and tools

We drip feed tools and templates to you as you arrive at each concept. For example, we offer

  • our detailed storyline planner at the very start so you can implement the high-level ideas immediately
  • prose templates and PowerPoint samples so you are ready to learn how to ‘flip' your storyline into a deck or a doc as soon as you are ready
  • our 7 favourite storyline patterns so you can short-cut the often lengthy bottom-up writing process to deliver clear and compelling communication
  • practical examples in every module drawn from my 25+ years' experience in helping executives of all stripes engage decision makers in complex ideas.

Register now for 3 digital bonuses valued at $99 …

♦  A copy of our book, The So What Strategy

♦  A desk reference highlighting our Ten Point Test to help you evaluate your storyline structure as well as our 7 storyline patterns

♦  A bundle of 7 annotated PowerPoint decks illustrating how a storyline translates into a PowerPoint

Learn from an expert

Top-tier experience

I began helping others clarify and communicate complex ideas professionally at McKinsey in the mid 1990s. I trained in the Minto Pyramid Principle® under some of the best and was approved to teach others by Barbara Minto in 2008.

Since then I helped Boston Consulting Group in Australia design and deliver their structured communication program and have helped thousands of people globally to communicate better at work.

Mixed with education and business creds

My skill-building approach blends my corporate experience with my background as a professional communicator and educator who runs her own business.

Despite not practicing as a kindergarten teacher for long, the skills I learned are invaluable when helping adults. 

Running my own business has given me greater understanding of leadership and its challenges, as well as greater business acumen. It has also given me opportunities to put structured problem solving techniques to work in the real world.

To help experts engage others in complex ideas

In thinking about where I can help the most, I consciously oriented my programs toward helping those who know a lot about something to engage others who know less.

This can be a tricky bridge to cross but worth doing if we think that truly good ideas only have real value when they are understood.

It is also incredibly satisfying to see experts not only succeed at their communication, but to lift their confidence in their professional abilities and in themselves.

Here are some comments from people who have completed these modules.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Clarity First Express for?

Clarity First Express is designed for professionals who need to communicate at work.

The techniques can be applied to everything from emails that are more than about three lines long to those wanting to write a book. For example when communicating

To superiors: You may need to put a proposal to your superiors about a change to a project, inform them of your progress or ask for funding.

To your team: You may need to communicate with your team to explain something you need from them or perhaps cascade down a message from people elsewhere in the organisation.

To outsiders: The techniques are also helpful in communicating with people outside your organisation such as customers, suppliers, regulators or others.

The techniques are useful anywhere you need to be confident you are understood.


What is structured thinking?

Structured thinking is a technique developed at McKinsey & Company during the 1960s by a team led by the Firm’s first female consultant, Barbara Minto.

The team leveraged universal thinking techniques to develop a highly structured way to distil the essence out of complex material and convey it clearly and convincingly.

The structure itself becomes a ‘thinking machine’ that helps not just tidy ideas so they are neatly organised, but to actually identify what they are.

By knowing the techniques, you can see when ideas don’t belong and then work out what to do about that. Do you move them, remove them or modify them to give the structure integrity?

Knowing the techniques enables you to make these decisions quickly and intelligently.

What is the difference between Clarity First Express and the Clarity First Program?

The name says it all: If you want to learn to communicate better quickly and independently, then Clarity First Express is for you.

If you want a deeper route supported by small group coaching and potentially also a series of practical workshops, then you may enjoy the Clarity First Program.

If unsure, start with Express and then enjoy the 20% discount we offer for registering in the more detailed program.

What is the difference between Clarity First Express and Clarity First Basics?

Basics includes the first three modules of this course.

You might see it as being a ‘taster', which you can try to see whether the approach is for you.

Does my access expire?

Access to the modules does not expire. As long as our website exists, you can revisit the course.

Please email us at if you have further questions. Large group discounts do apply.