Your Oral Proposal – Turn a Loser to a Winner

  |  November 16, 2017

Bill Kane

Coaching 200 Orals over 20 years has provided insight into the question, “What is the difference between a winning Orals and a loser?”

The government evaluation team has brought your actual Program Manager and key staff there to winnow the wheat from the chaff. When they see your key people in action, will they feel comfortable working with them for the duration of the contract? Are they the most capable with least risk?

A little imagination lets us see into the world of the evaluators. They must show the Wisdom of Solomon to select the the best possible contract winner, while avoiding protests from the losers.

While each of the 200 Orals I have coached has been unique, I have learned that winning Orals have several things in common:

1) The presentation team is really a team.

The evaluators can see when the presenters are simply a group of individuals culled together to deliver technical content. Winning Teams are attuned to each other. When not speaking, they are keenly interested in who is, and they send “positive vibes” to each presenter that is palpable and evident to the evaluators. They introduce each other with affinity and high regard.

2) The slide presentation itself is uncluttered, coherent, and explains simply why the evaluators should choose your company over the others.

They powerfully address client concerns and “hot buttons.” Each slide includes a succinct Assertion: (What we want the evaluators to believe about our ability to handle this particular requirement.) Our claims are clear and substantiated with relevant examples.

3) And lastly, the Q&A must go smoothly.

The Team once again comes across as one, responding to questions without “piling on” or extending their answers into another presentation.

The evaluators can’t help but get a visceral opinion of your presentation team. How good, or bad, that opinion is depends on how well your Team prepares and delivers.