This month we are going to continue on from my previous article on bid writing, and today I am going to share with you my top ten tips to doing this effectively.
Your written bid has done its job, and you have been invited to present it in person. The first rule is whatever you do, don’t “wing it” – it will very rarely work for you. The second rule is there is only one rule (thank you Monty Python!).
First, let’s consider a few general tips about how to deal with the audience:
- Plan your presentation from the listener’s perspective.
- Create for your listener an awareness of the need to act now.
- Maintain and build the listener’s interest.
- Tell the listener all they need to know about your services as far as they are relevant to him/her.
- Explain the benefits of your service.
- Check to ensure you have not lost the listener’s attention.
- Be prepared for questions, and make sure you have robust answers for the questions you would least like to be asked.
- Don’t use jargon.
- Have a component in your presentation that makes you and your bid distinctive.
- Don’t forget that if you have more than one listener, they may be looking for different things from you, based on their behaviour preferences and respective roles in the business.
I would like to finish with a couple of thoughts on how to structure your presentation.
Firstly, keep it as short as you can and focus on the essentials. What are the key issues you need to highlight from your proposal, and don’t spend much time telling them how good you are – they appreciate that or you wouldn’t have been short-listed.
Secondly, make sure the proposal has a structure, so that you lead the listener through to a positive decision-inducing position (i.e. acceptance). Items you may want to reference could include:
- The objectives of the assignment
- Measures of success (e.g. indicators of progress being made)
- Expressions of value (what improvements and enhancements can be expected; in other words what success could look like)
- Methodologies and options (how you will address the issues)
- Timing (so both parties’ expectations are managed)
- Joint accountabilities (who is responsible for what)
- Key terms and conditions
Above all, just try to be your natural self – if you try to be someone you are not it will probably undermine your performance. So, let them see the authentic you!
I look forward to sharing more articles with you after the New Year. In the meantime, if you have any enquires or feel you need some more guidance please don’t hesitate to contact me.