Structured Communication Course

Learn how to structure your thinking to deliver high-quality papers and presentations that support fast and effective decision making.


Life's short. Stop reworking drafts.

Get fast decisions instead.

Too many executives spend their nights and weekends reworking important communication multiple times and still don't get the results they need.

Engage helps you clarify and communicate high-quality messaging no matter the ambiguity of the situation or the complexity of material. Here is how it works.

The Engage self-paced course: Learn how to use structured communication techniques for communicating with senior leaders and Boards. You will learn how to:

  • Flush out your communication strategy to confirm the value your communication must deliver. 
  • Frame your message using one of 10 potential patterns, rather than starting from scratch.
  • Firm up your messaging by iterating around a tightly structured one-pager, to avoid drowning in Track Changes.
  • Finalise your document, whether that be a prose paper or report, or a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Feed back and feed forward to incorporate learnings from one presentation to the next.

Facilitator: Engage is taught by Davina Stanley, author of 3 books: Elevate, Engage and The So What Strategy.

Davina has helped leaders globally to use structured thinking techniques over 25+ years.

She learned the core approach during her 15 years with McKinsey (on staff + freelance) and later helped BCG Australia design their structured thinking program while serving a wide range of other clients.

Barbara Minto approved her Minto Pyramid Principle (R) training in 2009. 

Engage structured communication course dashboard

Engage includes lifetime access to …

  • 34 bite-sized videos 

  • Real-world examples gleaned from thousands of coaching sessions across hundreds of companies over 25+ years

  • Notes to download and keep

  • Quizzes to provide confidence you understand the material

  • Tools and templates to help you use the techniques in your own work

How does ENGAGE help me prepare better papers and presentations?

> Offers a step-by-step structured thinking process for clarifying and conveying your messaging

> Delivers numerous real-world examples to leverage

> Introduces 10 go-to-patterns to help you quickly frame your messaging

> Provides the SCORE framework for assessing the quality of your thinking

> Helps you collaborate more effectively with peers

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 2009.

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.

I also love what I do ... it's actually great fun.

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 use structured thinking techniques in the real world.

To help experts engage decision makers 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.


Davina Stanley - online Pyramid Principle course facilitator

Effective communication is as important as the content itself.

The Clarify First course is crisp, logical, and easy to digest.

I highly recommend it for professionals at all levels.

Gar Chui

Director of Product Management, Seattle, USA

Invest time in becoming a clear communicator. You will stand out and become more convincing in what you are presenting and asking your audience.

Wendy Pasco

Marketing Manager, Ingredion

Clarity First gave me a simple structure for developing effective communications that I can use over and over again to get approvals, get funding, manage risks and issues, and to get fast decisions.

It has helped me take my career to the next level and more.

Cerise Uden

Project Director, Westpac

Without clear and concise communication your career will plateau, no matter how talented you are.

Rohan Singh

Business Analyst, ANZ

It's worth the investment.

Alexandra Shea

Head of Financial Crime Compliance, Afterpay

It is a great course to save time and make more of an impact with your communication.

Philippa Thode

Senior Program Manager, Department of Transport

You are underestimating how important effective communication is. This program can help you improve.

Darren Hutchison

Supply Chain Project Implementation Manager, Officeworks

FAQs – The ENGAGE Structured Communication Course

Who is Engage for?

Engage is designed for professionals who need greater clarity and confidence when presenting papers and presentations to senior decision makers.

The course suits any professional context where someone needs their communication to set up better, faster decision making.

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.

How do I complete the course?

The course modules are housed in a world-class learning management system.

You can log in from our website on any device: your laptop, tablet or phone.

Does Engage include case studies and examples?

Engage is loaded with case studies and examples at every step.

I explain each key idea in conjunction with real-world examples.

Do I get a certificate of completion?


Each module includes a video, notes and a short quiz to help you consolidate your learning.

You must get more than 70% correct in each quiz to proceed to the next module.

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 [email protected] if you have further questions. Large group discounts do apply.