Drawing for business and strategy

In-person or online • Ben Crothers Ben Crothers

Bring more clarity and persuasion to your business communications with simple and practical drawing techniques.


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Draw your way to better business communications

  • Are you and your team getting lost in complexity and ambiguity in your business?
  • Is everybody drowning in too much corporate jargon, too many bullet points, and too many PowerPoint slides?
  • Are your team and stakeholders just not 'getting on the same page'?
  • Are you looking for ways to make your presentations more attention-grabbing and eye-catching?

This class will equip you to:

  • Draw simple patterns and structures to help clarify the essentials of business communication, such as strategy, plans, audiences, opportunities, and solutions.
  • Use visual metaphor in powerful ways to frame (and reframe) problems, insights and solutions, for influence and action.
  • Visualise intangible and conceptual elements like systems, processes, decision factors, and stakeholder relationships.

Be just as good at the whiteboard, as you are at the keyboard

Whether you're at a startup, a consultancy, a school, in government or a multinational enterprise, these skills help you be the one to bring clarity and focus out of the complexity

This class is great for:

  • Designers and consultants who need better ways to communicate with clients and stakeholders
  • Managers, project managers and program managers who need to help get teams un-stuck, and to prioritise their work better
  • Facilitators who want to add to their toolkit
  • Change managers who have to help teams tackle large tricky programs of work
  • Scrum masters, agile coaches and agile practitioners, who want to improve their teams' ways of working

Serious value for serious changemakers

You're investing in your success as a leader, intrapreneur and changemaker. We take that investment seriously, by packing serious value into this class.

This class gives you access to

  • 2 hours of real-time interactive instruction with Ben Crothers, a master of the whiteboard marker, with over 15 years of facilitation, illustration, training and strategy experience, plus author of Presto Sketching and Draw in 4
  • Your questions answered, throughout the class time
  • Advice for how to apply these methods to your specific situation
  • An ongoing community of changemakers on the Bright Pilots Slack channel

Class outline

Here’s what you can expect from the live online class.

1. Introductions and warm-up

Introducing your instructor; fun warm-up sketching activity; class content and outcomes overview.

2. Applying drawing to work

Coming out from behind the charts and documents; ideas for different ways to express your ideas as simple drawings at work, while not looking weird.

3. Drawing the basics

Increasing your drawing confidence, and expanding your visual vocabulary with simple figures, objects, arrows, and frames.

4. Mapping systems and processes

Using some simple patterns to draw conceptual and abstract structures, to help get clear shared insight and understanding about those structures.

5. Mapping strategy and solutions

Using some simple patterns to explore and explain concepts to do with product and business strategy, problems, solutions and plans. Solving problems and uniting understanding at a conceptual level before moving to the digital outputs of roadmaps and spreadsheets.

6. Mapping teams and stakeholders

Using some simple patterns to explore and explain team purpose and dynamics, as well as stakeholder dynamics.

7. Wrapping up

Recapping the main points in the class, final Q&A, as well as some next steps and resources.

Great insightful class as always, and a nice change from writing to drawing notes!

Shirley Ha, Business Partner

Ben has such skill in breaking down the complex into logical, visual chunks that are so versatile and relevant. His sessions are highly engaging with great take aways you can use.immediately.

Julie Lonsdale. FutureBuilders

Highly recommend this course to business leaders and facilitators to bring their approach to strategy alive.

Andrew Bird, Director - Foundstone Advisory

In three words - immediate utility & clarity. The drawring course (as all four other courses that I have attended with Ben) are immediately useful & highly practical. Ben’s delivery is welcoming & enthusiastic & Ben shows incredible knowledge about the subject. I keep coming back to Ben’s courses as in two hours I learn more that struggling with most books.

Mark Woodyatt, Head of Operations

Impressed at how far I could progress in such a short space of time. Ben is an encouraging and engaging facilitator.


Since telepathy isn’t a thing yet, we consultants still need to rely on words and images to convey our work. Ben helped us immensely by teaching us how to capture ideas in sketches, and tell stories by drawing them. As an experienced facilitator he handled our diverse group with ease and charm.

Tim Buesing, Group Creative Director, Publicis Sapient

I love the way how Ben built the bridge between: (1) visualizing objects/people and (2) really having an impact on a business level. Drawing in business makes complex things clear and helps to achieve great results in group settings. Furthermore, the training also helped to structure the preparation and design time of a business meeting in a much better way. Thank you very much.

Marko Hamel, Senior Information Security and Compliance Specialist

Learning how to draw does not have to be a scary thing. Drawing at work using basic forms is something that everyone should master to be better communicators. Loved the content and interactivity. Ben is attentive, inclusive and full of great examples.

Kat - Customer Transformation Program Manager

Your instructor: Ben Crothers

Ben is currently Principal Facilitator at Bright Pilots, and spends a lot of his time teaching design techniques, running strategic workshops, and helping teams be more creative and to focus on the right things.

About us

Ben Crothers

We’ve boosted capacity in loads of teams...

Here are some organisations that Bright Pilots has been privileged to run training sessions and masterclasses for:

Client logos of EY, Target and EbayClient logos of Commonwealth Bank and ZipClient logos of Atlassian, ABC and LIDAClient logos of iCare and OrofolClient logos of Nine Network and Aurora EnergyClient logos of Canva, City University of New York and CSIROClient logos of The Benevolent Society and Telstra

Book a call

Got questions? Here are some answers

We conduct these classes either in-person or online, according to what your requirements are. We are based in Sydney (Australia) so in-person is great, but there are many reasons why we conduct classes online via Zoom too. for example, clients sometimes want to include people from several offices, so we make it online.
Each training class typically runs for 3 hours. If it takes place online, we ensure we schedule 2 quick breaks throughout the 3 hours, to keep everybody fresh.
We try to limit each class to 10 people, to ensure everyone gets enough interaction and opportunity to discuss and ask questions. If you have more than 10 people to train, we suggest booking several separate sessions.

No, training attendees don’t have to all work together. Each class is geared to cover several specific learning outcomes common to anyone and everyone attending. Often classes include time for each attendee to work on their own example individually.

However, we can always tailor team training classes to include time for attendees to work together on common challenges.

Yes, we can and do bundle several training classes together. We can also tailor sets of classes to cover your specific learning outcomes or staff development goals.

For online classes, we use the videoconferencing platform Zoom, which you can use via your web browser, or download here. Some clients prefer us to use MS Teams; this is also fune, provided you can invite us to your Team space.

We sometimes use other applications like Mentimeter, Mural or Miro, which you should be able to access and use via your web browser.

If you’re attending one of our drawing classes, you’ll need something to draw with, and something to draw on. We recommend a fine black marker (e.g. Artline200 Fineliner 0.4) or similar. For this sort of drawing, it’s best not to use Sharpies, as they are too thick, and they bleed through regular paper. For the paper, a blank sketchbook is great, but plain ol’ blank office paper is perfectly fine.

Drawing on a digital tablet is great too, and using other markers and pencils (e.g. tint markers like Tombow or Copic, and colour pencils) is also fab.

The only preparation you usually need to do is to complete a brief online pre-class questionnaire. We send out the link to all attendees a few days prior to the class. This questionnaire helps everyone to think more about what they’d like to get most out of the class, plus it helps us to know what to focus on.

We also encourage all attendees to think ahead about (and capture somewhere) how they think they’d like to apply what they learn from the class. For example, there might be specific types of meetings, or a specific project they are working on, where they would like to improve.

Be sure to read the class outline above, to give you a sense of the structure and content of this class. If you have any questions after reading this, we’re more than happy to help, and you can drop us a line.

We’re all about involving everyone in an engaging productive way in all our classes, so all classes are pretty interactive.

Our classes have a range of practical and conversational activities, ranging from simple icebreakers to individual hands-on exercises, to discussions in groups of 2, 3 or 4. There will also be time for Q&A throughout the class, and at the end as well.

Some classes’ activities also include using an online canvas (like Mural or Miro), which all class participants use together.

We take your decision to invest in your staff seriously, so we prefer to agree on – and invoice for – a minimum number of staff who are committed to attending the training class, and we charge per attendee.

We understand that sometimes things come up and plans need to change. If this is the case, you will receive a seat credit for anyone who accepted the invitation to the training, but didn’t attend. You can use this seat credit towards another class, and it’s valid for up to 12 months from the original class date.

You can cancel any registered attendees by name within 2 days of the scheduled class, and receive a full refund. If the invoice is already paid, we will arrange the refund to be paid back within 7 business days of submitting your cancellation request. To cancel, simply contact us here, or email support@brightpilots.com.

Yes, we do provide discounts to attendee numbers over 15. We also provide a discount for registered non-profit organisations at 25% off the regular per-seat attendee rate.

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