Writing and Presenting a Winning Proposal

In business or in some type of community service you might be called upon to present a proposal. A proposal is the opportunity to present your ideas to a group of people you want to influence to accept your ideas and take action.A well prepared proposal should include the following:1. What is my objective? Be concise and accurate in your objective. What do you want to accomplish. Keep it simple and short. Do not be vague. Focus on your immediate objective and don’t confuse the issue with future goals or objectives.
2. Know your audience. It is important to know to whom you are speaking. Do they have the power to make decisions or will others be involved in the finale decision such as accountants or attorneys. Does your audience have any prior knowledge on the topic you will be presenting? The more you find out about your audience the more effective you can make the proposal.
3. What are the needs of the audience? You will want to present your proposal in a way that meets the needs of your audience. If your proposal requires a lot of money you will need to know the approximate finances of the group or company. Determine the company’s or group’s wants, needs and interests so you can present your proposal accordingly.
4. Plan of action. Be very precise and stating the action you want the group to take. Don’t make them guess about what you want. Be sure to give accurate steps needed for completion of the plan.
5. State your plan. Your proposal should include a review of how the proposed plan will work. Do not go into too much detail. That can be confusing and cause rejection of the project. In your proposal you want to answer the basic who, what, when, where and why questions. Be sure to offer supporting information where it would be helpful. Handouts that offer details are very helpful.
6. State the benefits. Don’t close without stating very clearly the benefits that would be achieved by accepting your proposal. Make sure the benefits correspond to the needs, wants and interests of your audience.Be sure to ask for approval of your proposal. This is something many people are afraid to do. They are afraid of rejection. If you do not ask for a decision you probably won’t get one. Remind your audience of the value of accepting your proposal and ask for their approval.