How to write a Proposal


by Burt Dubin on December 15, 2011

How to write a Proposal

I am NOT in favor of writing Proposals.  In most cases doing so is a waste of time. However, there are rare situations in which writing a Proposal serves you.   These strategies help you compose a Proposal that has the best chance of serving you:

First:  Emphasize the benefits of the benefits of hiring you to present or speak.

Get that: THE BENEFITS OF THE BENEFITS. What your program does and what these outcomes mean for the sponsor, for the audience and for the decision-maker.

This is about them, not about you.  Keep your sentences short, simple.

Do not use “will” and do not use “learn”.   Stay in first person, present tense. Here is the model I developed:

HI (Name),

Thank you for considering me to present this special program.

You recognize the need for (their desired outcomes)   I am happy to share the wisdom I harvested during my nearly ___ years of similar interventions.

You are undoubtedly wondering which aspects of this I plan to address for you.   Here they are:

1. Your members (or staff) get _____________________________.

This means (benefits of the benefit . . . ultimate good.

2. Your audience discovers ________________________________.

This means  (benefits of the benefits  . . . ultimate good.)

3. Your people master strategies that (benefits of the benefits . . . ultimate good.)

This means (benefits of the benefits . . . ultimate good.)

4. Your group sees why and how ____________________________.

This means (benefits of the benefits . . . ultimate good.)

5. Your participants secure insights that _____________________.

This means (benefits of the benefits . . . ultimate good.)

6. Your attendees grasp __________________________________.

This means (benefits of the benefits . . . ultimate good.)

7. Mix and match . . .  constituents / clients / team / associates / staff / partners                  capture / experience / harvest / find out /  nail down / unlock / liberate /          witness /  . . . understandings / skills / intelligence /  wisdom /  methods /          designs / scenarios . . .

My fee to present this ___ hour event is $______ plus travel, lodging, and          any meals/incidentals.  I require half of this fee in front to set your date aside          for you and to initiate research, planning, overall program design, prepare          graphic materials, and blueprint every detail that makes your program a          winner for you.

This event is to be customized for the challenges I uncover during my pre-         program discussions with a minimum of 3 of your key people.  Expect a          wow experience, an unforgettable delineation of insights and strategies for          successfully _____________________________.

In your service,

Your name


(Include somewhere who produces and who pays for the Program Manuals.  This is normally charged to the client’s education budget separate from the speaker’s fee.)


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