Not only that, but once you’ve got the graphic identified you can hand it off more easily.

Identifying graphics for proposals requires no creativity whatsoever. Rather than looking at a section and trying to picture it, instead simply look for bullets. Anything that can be written as bullets is a potential graphic. The reason is that most proposal graphics illustrate a relationship or a process. Bullets often contain a series of steps, a list of ingredients, or a list of examples.

Once you’ve found a potential graphic, it’s time to describe it. Start by taking the words from your bullets and positioning them. If it’s a process, lay them out in order. If it’s a relationship, arrange them logically. To actually render the graphics, draw boxes around them. If it’s steps in a process, don’t worry about using official flow charting symbols. If you know how (and the proposal evaluators will understand them), great. If you don’t know how to use flow chart symbols, be satisfied knowing that you’ve already improved the communication by illustrating it with simple boxes.

Next, connect the boxes with lines. For some graphics, you are already done. If you are really ambitious, you can now look for clip art and illustrate each box. If you decide to use clip art, remember that the goal is to enhance the communication. The goal is never pretty pictures. The reason to use clip art is to enable people to visual what is happening at that step or what is being related, without reading the label. If the clip art doesn’t achieve that goal it may be more of a distraction than an enhancement.

If you are truly graphically challenged, you may have trouble remembering the more than 300 words in this article at the moment of need. Instead simply remember, “look for bullets.” This alone will greatly improve your ability to identify graphics for your proposals.

Courtesy of Carl Dickson –