Presenting Confidence / Submission Apathy

Having a sister company (Eyeful Presentations) who frequently engage with people in the run up
to a major presentation offers us a unique insight into a really interesting behavioral anomaly
between a presentation and a bid submission. It seems that people are much less tolerant of
'OK' for slides than they are for bid documents, and we were musing on whether this is in part
down to the feeling of exposure in giving a presentation. When delivering a presentation to an audience you are always acutely aware that they are looking at you, your slides, and the quality of your work as you are stood there. Therefore it is understandable that people will always seek out as much help and support to make them look good and ensure that they wow their audience. But is a bid document any different really? If you were asked to come and present every line of your bid visually and verbally would you put extra effort into the preparation to make it more stunning to ensure you felt comfortable being eyeballed by your reviewers?

In our day to day meetings we come across a raft of proposals and bid submissions that are anything from good to downright bland and generic, and a lot of the time the people that submitted them will acknowledge the weak points to us but point out that they've done it for years and they still win from time to time.

Along the same lines, we've also noticed that there is often a reticence for people to return to a document once it has been submitted, down to the fact we suspect that they are all too aware that they may well find errors, omissions, mixed messages or typos that will make them cringe!

If you are of the mind-set that presses the send button for your submission and then moves on, then ask yourself whether this is because deep down you know that your bids are not always all that they should be. And if this is the case maybe now is the time to take a deep breath, retrieve a load of your submissions from your folders and cast a critical eye over them to see if they really stand up to scrutiny in the cold light of day.

If every element of your document submission isn't as polished and honed as a slide would be for a final presentation then maybe you need to bite the bullet and work out how to take it to the next level. One thing is for sure, at least one of your competitors will probably be doing just that right now…

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