Cue “Welcome to the Jungle,” by Guns and Roses. ( Slash’s guitar riffs sound as smoke forms and Megamind exclaims, “You dare challenge Megamind?” Titan, the eventual antagonist of the movie, responds with a not-so-witty comeback, “This Town isn’t big enough for two supervillains.” A giant face of Megamind made up of tiny robots, forms in the sky and Megamind points out Titan’s inexperience, “Oh, you’re a villain alright. Just not a super one!” Titan, played by Jonah Hill, a not-so-smart character, is befuddled and asks, “Yeah? What’s the difference?” The mouth of the giant Megamind’s face opens and Megamind descends on the “tongue” of robots. In his Black Momba suit, Megamind raises his arms in a dramatic fashion, lasers flash, smoke billows, and Slash starts shredding the guitar as Megamind proclaims, “PRESENTATION!” Just like with villains and super-villains, past performance and approach in proposals are one thing—and presentation is the other. Titan has superpowers: he is stronger and faster. But Megamind is able to compensate for the areas where he is lacking through maximizing every last of his strengths. Presentation is the weapon he uses to capitalize on all of his resources—his technology, brainpower, and fighting experience.

Many companies in proposals don’t believe that presentation matters, and those that appreciate presentation don’t necessarily invest the appropriate amount of effort and resources to get their proposals to create the best first impression and stand out. Proper presentation of your proposal appeals to evaluators’ emotions. Most humans make decisions using emotions first and then employ logic as justification. A proposal that makes an instant professional impression subliminally instills in evaluators confidence that you can execute the work as promised.

This starts with a cover that includes customer-related imagery, customer brand colors, and sets the tone for the rest of the proposal. The evaluator makes an instant judgment as soon as he/she looks at the cover. What will that judgment be: nondescript company, “amateur hour,” or a professional company? The cover sets the tone for the rest of the graphics in the proposal. This includes everything from the color scheme, format, and consistency, to the look and feel. For example, having a border around your graphics is like wearing bulky 80s’ style shoulder pads in your jacket or dress. Characteristics like the layout of the pages and readability contribute to the evaluator thinking that you know what you’re doing. A clear hierarchy of headings and left-justified text all contribute to greater digestibility of the material. When an evaluator who reads 10 sub-standard proposals comes across one that is polished, easy-to-read, and beautiful, it will feel like a breath of fresh air. A professionally rendered proposal will be much less of a chore to read and will elicit more respect.

In addition to professional graphics and layout, thorough proposal editing is the key to professional presentation. Nothing destroys the image of perfection like a grammatical or spelling error.

Best regards,

OST Global Solutions, Inc.

…Because There is No Second Place in Proposals! TM

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