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Board Paper Bootcamp

Cohort-based Course

Lift the quality of thinking in your papers so you and your leaders can quickly agree the messaging with minimal rework.

Hosted by

Davina Stanley

Founder, coaches at F100 & ASX10 companies + tech PMs, ex-McKinsey

Course overview

Write papers that are a joy to prepare AND to read

Is this familiar?

You are sitting down to review another round of edits on your latest Senior Leadership Team (SLT) paper.


This is the fourth round of minutiae you have received.


There are minor comments and tweaks in track changes throughout. The draft is a sea of red and you can’t work out what is wrong.


You referred to examples your predecessor left you. You and the team have thoroughly addressed every issue the template raises, so this paper should deliver what is needed.


On top of this, you urgently need leadership support if the project is to go ahead.


But your stakeholders’ continuous focus on minutiae is driving you nuts. They are muddying the message which you have worked toward.


What on earth is going on?

Seemingly endless rounds of minor edits are getting in the way of a project that will make a real difference to meeting key performance indicators.


You settle in for a long night as your days are full moving the project forward and the last thing you want is for your manager to rewrite your paper again.


Many executives tell me they draft multiple iterations of every paper and that it is not uncommon to present to leadership multiple times before getting a decision.

They think this is a normal part of professional life.

It doesn't have to be.

I have seen many executives turn this around and look forward to helping you do the same.


Wouldn’t it be amazing if you consistently got better, faster decisions from papers and presentations that are (mostly!) written within regular working hours?

Board Paper Bootcamp teaches you how.

For executives preparing papers and presentations for senior leaders and Boards


Experienced executives who engage with senior leaders and the Board to drive the organisation forward.


Finance leaders preparing and reviewing business cases drafted by divisional teams.


Company secretaries supporting senior leaders in preparing papers for top decision-makers.

You'll leave the Board Paper Bootcamp with ...

A strategy to get clarity around the brief really quickly

Our Elevate framework sets up a simple strategy for clarifying the desired outcome for your paper. It works for business cases, recommendations, updates and all other forms of formal engagement with your top decision makers.

A technique for mapping and 'nailing' your messaging

A major challenge in preparing papers and presentations is crystalising the message. Our one-page message maps help structure your thinking to drive both clarity and insight.

A toolkit for implementing the ideas for future papers

Leverage story patterns, templates and guides to lift the value you deliver in each and every paper. Spark off our extensive library of real-life examples too.

A finished paper you can be proud of

The main 'exercise' during the program is to prepare your own paper. I will take you through the process step by step so you can progress it between sessions. I will also offer confidential feedback on your draft.

6 months of opportunities to keep asking questions

Program participants enjoy 6 months access of my Clarity Hub. This offers tools, templates, MasterClasses and the opportunity to grow alongside other members, with contributions from me also.

What people say about working with me

        I really like Davina's teaching style. She has helped clarify my thinking and improve my writing.
Alex Shea

Alex Shea

Head of Financial Crime Governance, Fintch
        You are underestimating how important effective communication is and this program can help you improve.
Darren Hutchison

Darren Hutchison

Supply Chain Project Implementation Manager, Retail
        Davina's program 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 get fast decisions. It has helped me take my career to the next level and more.
Cerise Uden

Cerise Uden

Project Director, Banking technology projects
        I was amazed at how Dav managed to help me get everything on one page that was so simple and clear. The thinking process also helped me think on my feet to handle left-field questions in the middle of presentations, not just to prepare a quality paper.
Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson

General Manager, Manufacturing

Meet your instructor

Davina Stanley

Davina Stanley

Clarity First Program

I love what I do.

I help senior leaders and their teams prepare high-quality papers and presentations in a fraction of the time.

This involves 'nailing' the message that will quickly engage decision makers in the required outcome.

I leverage 25+ years' experience including

  • learning structured thinking techniques at McKinsey in Hong Kong in the mid 1990s before coaching and training their teams globally as a freelancer for a further 15 years
  • being approved to teach the Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto in 2009
  • helping CEOs, C-suite leaders and their reports deeply understand their stakeholder needs and communicate accordingly
  • seeing leaders cut the number of times they review major papers by ~30% and teams cut the amount of time they take to prepare major papers by ~20%*
  • watching senior meetings focus on substantive discussions and better decisions rather than trying to clarify the issue

My approach helps anyone who needs to engage senior leaders and Boards.

Recent clients include 7Eleven, KPMG, Mercer, Meta, Woolworths.

Learn more at www.clarityfirstprogram.com

(*) Numbers are based on 2023 client benchmarking results after ~8 weeks.

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Board Paper Bootcamp

Course syllabus


Clarify the desired outcome and main message

Learn how to 'nail' the brief so you have confidence in the question your paper answers. Learn to quickly introduce your main message. Apply these ideas to your own paper.


Synthesise your ideas into a well-organised hierarchy

Learn two ways to structure your messaging so you can articulate even complex ideas in a single page (without 2 point font!). Leverage our favourite narrative patterns. Apply these ideas to your own paper.


Finalise your messaging

Learn our SCAN | SCORE | SHARE technique for quickly reviewing the quality of your thinking. Translate your one-page message map into a paper or PowerPoint, even if you must use a structured template.


Consolidate your approach + receive personalised feedback

Ask questions, lock in your tool kit, submit your paper for confidential review, learn to navigate common challenges. Practice core skills.


Continue the learning journey

Enjoy 6 months' access to the Clarity Hub. This offers a weekly 'how to' email, monthly MasterClasses, an extensive library of annotated case studies and more. I regularly pop in to answer your questions.


6+ hours per week for 2 weeks
  • Learn online, stretch in class

    4 workshops over 2 weeks

    These two-hour workshops are highly interactive. They mix group work, individual work and breakouts as you each prepare your own paper step by step. Build on what you have learned in our short powerful online modules.

  • Write a paper while you learn

    2 hours per week to apply concepts

    Each workshop introduces a step in the paper preparation process. You will want to progress the paper further outside class. You will also have ~1 hour of short online modules to complete between each session.

  • Receive confidential feedback from me

    25+ years' top tier experience

    I will review your one-page message map and your paper. I offer a blanket Non-Disclosure Agreement and am happy to sign your organisation's NDA also if required.

  • Receive 6 months' extra support

    Clarity Hub access

    Continue learning with your cohort and others also seeking to lift the quality of their team's thinking. Join monthly MasterClasses, share ideas, ask questions and complete challenges. Access extensive library of sample papers.

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
What’s the refund policy?

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Board Paper Bootcamp