The following are tools, solutions,
tips, tricks, secrets, and best practices for
proposal professionals. Be sure to share this
page with your colleagues so they can benefit
from them as well.
Rules for Creating Proposal Graphics
1. All graphics should play a
specific role and have a reason for being chosen
2. Stay consistent.
3. Show or say it clearly. Don't be so innovative
or clever that your message is unclear.
4. Keep it clean and simple.
5. Label elements directly to avoid confusion.
6. Use recognizable imagery.
7. Focus on your audience.
Truth About Proposal Graphics
Your audience makes quick buying
decisions based upon what draws and keeps their
attention. Studies show that we often ignore formal
decision-making models when deciding on a purchase
because of time constraints, incomplete information,
the inability to calculate consequences, and other
variables. Intuitive judgment (judgment based
on emotions) is employed for most decisions. Visuals
in proposals and presentations can quickly affect
us cognitively and emotionally. When used improperly,
the consequences can be dire for your company.
However, when graphics are consistent, clear,
and compelling, you will leave a lasting, positive
impression on your audience and evaluators.
Graphics make it much easier
for your audience to understand and remember your
solution. Professional, visually appealing
graphics increase your likelihood of success by
43% (3M-sponsored study at the University
of Minnesota School of Management).
That is not to say that quality
visuals overshadow content, but rather both work
synergistically to better affect the outcome.
Well thought out content coupled with professional
proposal graphics result in a clear, communicative,
compelling proposal and presentation—a winning
It is the same for commercial and
government proposals. Why? Because we are hard
wired to be influenced by what we see. As long
as people are involved, graphics will influence
the final decision.
Joan Miller (name changed), a proposal
manager, taught a proposal writing course for
over 10 years. The class began with students forming
source selection teams to evaluate two proposals
and choose a winner based on the established evaluation
criteria. Proposal A was attractive, well written,
and contained a large number of professionally
rendered, visually appealing graphics, but the
proposal was not compliant with the evaluation
criteria put forth by the RFP. Proposal B was
not well written and used a smaller number of
dense, difficult-to-read graphics, but it was
compliant. If the source selection teams had taken
the extra time needed to understand Proposal B's
graphics, they would have realized that the graphics
suitably showed the system to be built. Not surprisingly,
Miller often found that Proposal A (the easy-to-read,
graphically appealing proposal) received the highest
grades. When asked, the students said that they
had been so caught up in the presentation that
they had failed to realize the proposal was not
An Executive Director of the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection Secure Border Initiative
(SBInet) Program Management Office (and part of
the SBInet decision-making team) acknowledged
that visuals help tell the presenter's story.
In addition, he said that graphics give evaluators
a break because, after reading several proposals,
"200 pages of text begin to look like ants."
In fact, he saves his favorite graphics and keeps
them with him for reference—a testament
to the fact that evaluators are influenced by
(If you do government proposals look at this!)
Whether you are doing commercial
or government proposals, graphics make a difference.
Graphics help guarantee that your solutions are
easy to understand and remember while significantly
increasing your win rates.
You need a winning proposal.
Unfortunately, you have to make it happen with
very little time, money, and resources. You know
you need your proposal to look great, communicate
your solution better than anyone else, and leave
the best impression. You know
you need high-quality, powerful graphics. What
do you do? Great news, you have a choice:
Do-it-yourself winning proposal graphics guide
Ready-to-go proposal and business graphics on
Proposal graphic how-to training
Fast Class seminars (1 hour quick classes)
5. Business and proposal graphic
Proposal professionals use Billion
Dollar Graphics solutions to help conceptualize
bid-winning proposal graphics. Authors and subject
matter experts use the easy-to-learn processes
to turn their ideas and words into clear, communicative,
- Written proposal graphics
- Oral proposal graphics
- Storyboard graphics
- Executive Summary graphics
- Technical graphics
- Management graphics
- Staffing graphics
- Any visual solution
waste anymore of your energy, money, and time
over explaining ideas and getting nowhere. Help
your audience better absorb your solutions, concepts,
data, processes, and ideas. Influence and motivate
your audience to take action. Use these books
and learn to quickly communicate your ideas effectively.
more about the book.)
start or add to your existing proposal graphics
library. The Billion Dollar Graphics Master Collection
DVD contains 111 editable graphics (Illustrator
and Photoshop CS2 or better for Mac and PC).
All graphics are professionally
conceptualized and rendered at print resolution.
more about the DVD.)
Billion Dollar Graphics training/workshops
will show you how to use visual communication
to reach your goals. The training is applicable
to anyone who needs to communicate information
for a desired result. Whether you are a business
developer, presenter, financial consultant, teacher,
attorney, graphic designer, sales or marketing
specialist, or in almost any other profession—visual
communication training will help you and your
organization succeed. (Learn
more about the Training and Workshops.)
Solutions for Proposal Professionals
Your challenges are unique.
Perhaps your goal is to increase the quality of
your visuals or analyze your existing process
and develop a better system for generating clear,
communicative, compelling graphics. Allow Billion
Dollar Graphics to be of service. We are available
for consultation. (Learn
more about custom solutions.)
Proposal Design Services
with 24 Hour Company
Billion Dollar Graphics and 24 Hour Company work
together to provide:
- Proposal graphic production (conceptualization
- Desktop publishing for proposals
- Proposal editing
more about 24 Hour Company.)
on the solutions below to purchase...
Billion Dollar Business Graphics Book +
Free Virtual CD ($49.95)
|Get More. Save BIG!
BDG Master Collection ($549)
FREE book set + 111 ready-to-use,
editable business graphics + 41 bonus graphics
+ FREE tools and resources on DVD.
|Is the BDG
Master Collection for your company or
organization? Choose the best option
License = source
art installed on one computer
Site License = source art installed on up to 5 computers
Site License = source art installed on unlimited
Click here to download a fax order form, if you
have a PO# or prefer not to order online.
services are also available:
Conceptualization Training and Workshops
Custom Solutions for
(through 24 Hour Company)
Fast Class Seminars