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Proposal Editing Workshop

April 17, 2018 - April 18, 2018

proposals-editing-trainingEvery proposal needs an editor to get it in the customer-ready shape. Unlike regular editing, however, proposal editing requires skills that normally take a long time to master by trial and error unless you take this course. It covers everything from developing the professional attributes of an editor, to estimating your workload correctly, figuring out the optimum workflow, integrating changes, and adding value to the content you’ve edited through incorporating compelling language. It will help you remove irrelevancies and puffed-up text, sniff out showstopper mistakes, translate ugly “proposalese” and “technicalese” to proper English, and enforce consistent style.

The polished, professional appearance of your proposal is paramount to making a positive impression on evaluators.

You will learn how to work with subject matter experts (SMEs) and edit their content to meet proposal requirements. You will practice editing for clarity and meaning, sharpen your ability to spot factual errors and redundancies, and organize unfocused materials. You will also learn how to infuse a consistent voice throughout your proposal regardless of the number of authors involved. This hands-on workshop filled with examples and exercises that will help you master the techniques for rapid and; accurate editing using the available tools.

This interactive two-day workshop is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. It will teach you the real skills required to increase quality, professional appearance, and persuasiveness of your proposals.

Location: Metro Park North Business Center, 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 560, Rockville, MD 20855 (check our Visitor Guide for location details, driving directions, nearby hotels and restaurants, and more).

Course completion: By attending this class, you will receive 3 CEUs towards your APMP accreditation, or 3 PDUs towards your PMP. At the end of this course you will get a Certificate of Completion.

Who should attend this course: Proposal department directors, company executives and senior managers, capture managers, proposal managers, business developers, business owners, project personnel.

Course materials: Course workbook, handouts, templates, forms, and checklists.

Professional certification: This is a Core Curriculum Course that provides 2 units (2-days) towards Bid&Proposal Academy certification program for proposal professionals. To learn more about the program or enroll: www.ostglobalsolutions.com/certification

The experts who teach our business development, capture and proposal training are highly experienced currently practicing proposal professionals whose years of successful experience in Government acquisition and training allow them to offer valuable insights to our students. Our instructors can answer tough questions as they come up during the course. They can also tailor the material to their students’ specific challenges, and share their experience based on the most current realities. Check our instructor’s bios.

Registration and Fees

For team discounts please change quantity of attendees at the checkout and click “Recalculate” to get the discount. Register 3 weeks before class date and receive $100 off per attendee as an EARLYBIRD discount!

  • $1390 per one attendee ($1290 if registered 3 weeks before class date).
  • $1250 per attendee when registering a team of 3 or more ($1150 if registered 3 weeks before class date), discounts apply at the checkout.


Seating is limited. Do not delay registering.

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Cancellations and rescheduling policy: Cancellation notification must be received 10 business days prior to the training date. Upon notification, your registration fee will be refunded less a $100 non-refundable processing fee. Any cancellations beyond the 10 business days are non-refundable, but the course fee can be applied towards another training course, webinar, or an OST Global Solutions training product. No refunds will be made for the cancellation of a rescheduled course. Attendee substitutions may be made at any time. Payment must be received prior to the course date. No-shows are liable for the full class fee.

For additional questions please call 301-384-3350 during normal business hours. If you’d like to pay by invoice please send an email to service@ostglobalsolutions.com (NOTE: the payment must be received prior to the course start date).

Would you like to take this class remotely? We have webcasting capability. Please send us an email at service@ostglobalsolutions.com if you’d like to attend a class via live webcast The date and time will be the same as the classroom training.


“I have been working in proposals for seven years, a lot of times I see that something is wrong with the content text but I do not always know how to fix it or how to approach the change. I will try to apply the techniques learned at this class to improve my ability to introduce compliant fixes to the proposal texts to make them more compelling.”

Svetlana May, Proposal Coordinator, Raytheon

“The instructor was extremely knowledgeable about editing proposals. I learned a lot, especially the tricks of the trade to make wordy, heavily technical proposals easier to read and be evaluated!”

Natalie La Roche, Desktop Publisher/Editor, Systems Made Simple (SMS)

“As an editor for a small Government contractor, I found OST’s Proposal Editing Workshop to be invaluable. It provided a perfect balance of excellent classroom instruction, team exercises, and discussion”

Marianne Wasson, Technical Editor, Acuity Consulting, Inc

Learning Objectives

Upon course completion, the participants will have learned and be able to put into practice:

  • Understanding a proposal editor’s role and key attributes.
  • Understanding compliance.
  • Assessing material and estimating resources required to edit sections.
  • Optimizing editing time and workflow in a team of editors to save resources.
  • Using electronic editing tools and professional hard copy markings.
  • Avoiding typical editing traps and mastering editing techniques to ensure a perfectly clean copy.
  • Editing content for clarity, compliance, customer language, accuracy, and persuasiveness.
  • Editing for content while preserving author’s meaning.
  • Improving the substance of the proposal.
  • Reducing page count without sacrificing content.
  • Adhering to the requirements of the Plain English Act.
  • Automating proposal editing to increase efficiency.
  • Editing resumes and past performance for length and compelling, relevant language.
  • Catching showstopper mistakes.
  • Improving readability while satisfying technical evaluators.
  • Effective workflow tracking.

Course Curriculum

Day 1 highlights

Module 1: What it Takes to Be a Stellar Proposal Editor

  • Introductions and learning objectives.
  • The proposal editor’s role in the proposal lifecycle.
  • Attributes of a great proposal editor.
  • Mastering diplomacy, providing constructive feedback, and fostering teamwork.
  • How an editor can have the greatest impact on proposal quality.

Module 2: Setting Up for Success

  • Introduction to styles: working with GPO, Chicago, and other style guides.
  • Checking what style is used for the proposal.
  • Creating a proposal-specific style guide for the proposal team.
  • Understanding compliance – how to quickly grasp the structure of the solicitation.
  • Exercise: Customizing style guide template for your proposal team.

Module 3: Estimating Your Effort and Time

  • Identifying different levels of editing.
  • Assessing the material for content, organization, and writing style.
  • Skills and effort that different levels of editing require from a proposal editor.
  • Estimating time and effort required to edit the assigned workload.
  • Optimizing editing time to save resources while achieving the most professional results.
  • Determining workflow when working in a team of editors.
  • Exercise: Estimate the time required to edit the assignment and plan your work.

Module 4: Editing Mechanics

  • Using MS Word’s Track Changes and Compare Documents tools effectively.
  • Developing a systematic approach to electronic editing.
  • Tracking and merging changes by multiple reviewers.
  • Editing electronic section copy: secrets to clean and clear editorial feedback.
  • Editing hard copy: professional editorial markings glossary.
  • Microsoft Word shortcuts for increased speed and efficiency.
  • Typical editing traps and how to avoid them.
  • Four additional editing techniques to ensure a perfectly clean editing copy.
  • Exercise: Practice and compare the application of two different techniques to demonstrate a difference in editing quality.

Module 5: Substantive Editing

  • Maximizing clarity and compliance with the outline and RFP.
  • Reintroducing RFP and customer’s language.
  • Identifying and eliminating irrelevant boilerplate.
  • How to avoid distorting author’s meaning.
  • Flagging inconsistencies, incomplete information, and ambiguity.
  • Adding benefits and proof language to improve persuasive qualities of the proposal.
  • Translating “technicalese” to English: correcting imprecise wording, technical arrogance and lecturing, redundancy, garbled language, confusing thoughts, unknown acronyms, and incomplete information.
  • Spotting and correcting factual inaccuracies that could kill your section’s rating.
  • Pinpointing areas that need work.
  • Revising or reorienting figures and tables.
  • Exercise: Edit section for content.

Day 2 highlights

Module 6: Structural Editing

  • How to cut down the text length to fit within the assigned page limit without sacrificing content.
  • Editing for better section flow.
  • Restructuring for more persuasive and proportionate paragraph flow.
  • Revising introductory sentences.
  • Organizing unfocused material.
  • Revising for consistent voice even if multiple writers contributed to proposal development.
  • Properly introducing figures and tables.
  • Exercise: Edit section for length and structure.

Module 7: Copy Editing and Proofreading

  • Plain English Act’s impact on proposal writing and editing.
  • Four editing automation techniques to increase editing speed and leverage modern editing tools.
  • Using spelling and grammar tools effectively.
  • Making global changes and using Find and Replace effectively.
  • Techniques to improve proposal readability while satisfying technical evaluators.
  • Eliminating passive voice, or deciding if and when passive voice is appropriate.
  • Identifying vague, redundant, or overused words or expressions.
  • Grammar gaffes every proposal editor should heed.
  • Grammar and punctuation refresher for the most common proposal errors.
  • Making finer adjustments such as tone and rhythm.
  • Editing, titling, and captioning figures and tables for maximum impact.
  • Ensuring consistency in style for every occurrence.
  • Exercise: Copy-edit the section for sentences and words.

Module 8: Editing Resumes and Past Performance Sections

  • Rules for cutting proposal resumes to the right page count.
  • Editing past performance sections for compliance, relevancy, length, and consistency.
  • Workflow tracking tools to ensure you are always organized.
  • Working with authors to provide the missing information.
  • Exercise: Edit a set of resumes.

Module 9: Last Touches

  • Ten items to check in a proposal for consistency and professional appearance.
  • What to look for when editing for aesthetics to catch desktop publishing errors.
  • Techniques for finalizing the copy.
  • Comparing hard copy edits to the final document to ensure all changes are made correctly and no new errors are introduced.
  • Generating an acronyms table using tools.
  • Checking on numbering for figures and tables, and cross-references.
  • Cleaning up style sheets for fast and reliable formatting.
  • Generating or updating the table of contents.
  • Exercise: Identify the items requiring correction prior to proposal production.

Module 10: Recap and Summary


April 17, 2018
April 18, 2018
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