Writing Smart Presentations

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Documents that generate business… (win sales!)

Whether by email, written or both, you may be involved in producing a formal presentation document – This will fill some people with dread!

Here are a few simple thoughts to help you put together that winning bid:

Don’t fool yourself into believing that the whole document is likely to be read

  • The presentation will be skim read at best, especially when the reader has a few presentations to consider
  • The report needs to look attractive, clear, easy to read – Consider layout, Font choice, illustrations, graphs
  • Headlines not headings....just like newspapers, they need to grab attention!
  • Keep it brief and to the point – if you are not careful you will bury the key messages!


  • Start with the benefits – solutions - evidence
  • Benefits statement in the headline!
  • How? Let people see evidence that they will get the results they require
  • Benchmark against others – how it has worked before?

No propaganda

  • We like to show how good we are, but remember over selling can seem like desperation or 'smoke and mirrors'
  • There is no need to justify yourself, if you are invited to bid
  • Make sure the presentation is not just ‘we, we, we’… It needs to be ‘you, you, you’!

No fluff and no ‘weasel words’ (look cute but sucks eggs from nests)

This terminology sucks meaning from words either side.

  • We believe this to be the case
  • We are fully committed to assisting you
  • We encourage all our of clients

This kind of terminology removes accountability and certainty from your words.

Who is going to see it (don’t leave anyone out)

  • Strategist? (movers and shakers, decision makers)
  • User? (practical down to earth don’t like change)
  • Scrutinisers? (want to find fault)
  • Investors? (bankers, shareholders, £ signs, value for money, best price)
  • External advisers? (very influential, include something for them)

Most of all the evaluator… show you have listened – know your client - solve their problem get their support. Get their vote!

Brainstorming - working together as a team

  • Always involve top management
  • As a leader you must identify benefits together with your team
  • Look for possible solutions
  • Demonstrate evidence
  • Select from the best!

No justifying failure (these are just excuses!)

  • We did a good job
  • Good effort everyone…well done!
  • You can’t win ‘em all can you?
  • Well, they were always going to win, weren’t they



  • Justify failure
  • Go for everything that moves
  • Low level of leadership, thought and quality


  • Ruthless in selection
  • Quality first
  • Analyse wins and losses
  • Involve top management

So there you are… Remember just some of these and what is a daunting prospect, can help lead to more successful outcomes for your business.

By Edward Winiarski

Account Director
Giles Insurance Brokers 

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Date Added: 14 November 2013

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