Government Proposals Orals Coach | How to Select an Orals Coach

  |  November 7, 2011

Proposal orals preparation frequently requires several different skills. Thus the first requirement in selecting an orals coach is to determine what skills are needed. The possible skills involved in an orals preparation exercise are listed as follows:

  • Help evaluate the bidder company situation and prepare a presentation content outline responsive to RFP specifications
  • Prepare a work plan / schedule including every task required from every participant
  • Coach any presenters needing coaching in planning and developing the content of their individual sections
  • Assist in planning / developing graphics appropriate to illustrate the presentation
  • Coach the group in the style and manner of making its joint presentation
  • Coach individual authors in polishing their individual pieces of the presentation

If “soup-to-nuts” coaching is needed, the coach must be able to develop a responsive outline, prepare a work plan, facilitate the preparation of graphics, coach the team presentation, and coach individual presenters. If the presentation is already prepared, the coach must be able to help the group polish the manner and style of the presentation. Usually, the orals coach does not need to be a subject matter expert. The subject matter expertise comes from the client firm, and the coach helps to structure and polish the presentations of the experts on the presentation team.

Below are some factors to consider when selecting an orals coach:

  1. Does the candidate come from an agency that is well known for providing trustworthy service?
  2. What kind of a contract win record does the candidate have?
  3. Does the person have significant experience helping to prepare orals presentations equal in size and scope to one in the current proposal?
  4. Is he or she good at doing all the tasks needed in a soup-to-nuts orals assignment including everything from preparing the initial plan to leading final group polish and helping to design the graphics?
  5. Does he or she have the leadership skill to handle an assignment that can sometimes be like herding cats?
  6. Does the person have the people skills needed to work well with different types of individuals?
  7. Does the candidate have solid references?
  8. Does the coach have a personality that is complementary to the group being coached?


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