From the Proposal Gurus at Bid Designs: Visual Appeal

When developing proposals, it’s easy to focus on all the things you have to write. That’s what most of the instructions are all about, after all. But what you should always keep in mind is that concepts can be conveyed in a lot of ways and, for a large segment of the general population, it is better to show rather than tell. Sometimes you can convey in a clean, easy-to-follow process diagram what would take three long, convoluted paragraphs to spell out in text alone.

A creative, eye-catching proposal cover tailored to the customer you’re targeting and the work they do isn’t an evaluation factor, but we, as humans, all respond positively to things that are visually appealing. A powerful cover will make your proposal stand out from the stack of proposals on the evaluator’s desk. Well thought out, well executed graphics throughout your proposal – in conjunction with compelling writing – will appeal to all evaluator reading preferences and increase the odds that your proposal will connect with all of the evaluators and decision makers.

On your next proposal, look at it with a critical eye. If you see page after page of dense text, look for opportunities to convey one or two concepts through a chart or a graphic. There are a lot of personnel on proposal evaluation boards who are visual learners/readers, and – especially for them – a picture really is worth a thousand words.