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Writing Persuasive Federal Proposals
This one-of-a-kind course shows how to develop compliant and highly persuasive proposal sections in at least half the time that it would normally take. It covers detailed methods for outlining within the sections, developing section content, infusing proper structure and flow, and implementing correct writing processes and section planning techniques. But this course reaches beyond mere compliance.

You will acquire techniques and tools that will transform even the most reluctant non-professional writers into prolific proposal authors.

You will learn the science of persuasion through creating a mental picture in the evaluators’ minds, ways to overcome the writer’s block. The class will explain the differences between good and bad proposal language and cover detailed-self editing techniques, including editing automation. You will learn how to write better and faster. This workshop is 40 percent lecture, 50 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion. The workshop exercises will double your writing speed, and will drastically improve the quality of your written products by giving you more time to polish them. The results will be astounding, making technical proposal writing easier, less time-consuming, and even enjoyable.
writing persuasive federal 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:
Course Curriculum
Day 1 Highlights
Module 1: Introduction
  • Introductions and learning objectives.
  • Importance of compliance and persuasion in proposal writing.
  • Class roadmap.
Module 2: Detailed Outlining Within Sections
  • Understanding compliance at the section level.
  • How to analyze section requirements.
  • First steps of outlining sections to be compliant and compelling.
  • Exercise: Analyze the requirements for the practice section, determine section focus, and identify key components.
Module 3: Infusing Flow for Higher Persuasion
  •  Annotating proposal sections.
  • Understanding proposal flow for higher persuasion.
  • Infusing proper section flow for a compelling argument.
  • 8Ws and their order.
  • Exercise: Annotate a proposal section outline.
Module 4: Proposal Speed-Writing System
  • – Three elements of the proposal speed-writing system.
Module 5: Overcoming Unhelpful Beliefs about Writing
  • The psychology of performance.
  •  Questions to uncover self-limiting beliefs about writing. 
  • Myths and truths of proposal writing.
  • Seven techniques to resolve specific psychological hang-ups and overcome self-limiting beliefs.
  •  Where dealing with psychology fits in the proposal process. 
  • Discussion: Apply concepts learned in class to the unhelpful personal beliefs and discuss ways to overcome them.
Module 6: Stage 1 of the Correct Writing Process
  • Correct writing process to write better and faster.
  • Stage 1 of the correct writing process.
  • Intelligence gathering to answer the 8Ws.
  • Three steps for successful group brainstorming.
  • Helping your group become more creative in generating ideas.
  • Tools and techniques for brainstorming individually and preparing to write.
  • Exercises: Brainstorming in a group. Brainstorm individually and plan the actions.
Module 7: Stage 2 of the Correct Writing Process
  • Stage 2 of the correct writing process.
  • The main secret to writing fast and well.
  • Writing rules.
  • Speed-writing tools.
  • Where Stage 2 fits in the proposal process.
  • Exercise: Speed-write the proposal section.
Day 2 Highlights
Module 8: Beating the Writer’s Block
  • Elements of proposal writing procrastination.
  • Four categories of methods to break free from the writer’s block and help your proposal team.
  • How to manage writing time.
  • Discussion: Methodologies participants will use to deal with their writer’s block.
Module 9: The Dark Art of Proposal Persuasion
  • The dark art of persuasion.
  • Proposal language: what sells.
  • The anatomy of proposal persuasion.
  • Understanding evaluators’ individual drivers.
  • Proper structure of the argument for better persuasion.
  • Discussion: Integrate the material learned in the module and apply to the specific customer situations.
Module 10: Use of Story in Proposals
  • How to use story that makes boring proposal writing come alive.
  • Elements of a strong proposal story.
  • Eleven story types appropriate in a proposal.
  • Exercise: Develop a story for the practice proposal section.
Module 11: Harnessing the Power of Metaphor
  • Types of metaphors.
  • Metaphor rules.
  • Four steps for building an effective metaphor.
  • Exercise: Create a metaphor for the practice section.
Module 12: Stage 3 of the Correct Writing Process
  • Stage 3 of the correct writing process.
  • Where Stage 3 fits in the proposal process.
  • OST’s four-part editing checklist.
  • Exercise: Apply checklist parts 1 and 2 to the draft.
Module 13: Copy Editing and Editing Automation
  • How to configure and apply editing tools.
  • Readability and its tools
  • How to avoid sentence bloaters and reduce wordiness.
  • Enemies of clear writing
  • Language that kills persuasion.
  • Configuring MS Word for editing.
  • Writing efficiencies in MS Word.
  • Additional editing tools and techniques.
  • Exercises: Configure MS Word. Watch editing demo. Apply checklist parts 3 and 4 to finalize the draft.
Module 14: Summary and Recap
  • How It All Maps to the Proposal Process.
  • Summary.
  • Recap.
Learning Objectives
Upon course completion, the participants will have learned and be able to put into practice:
  • Understanding the goals of compliance and persuasion
  •  Analyzing the requirements. 
  •  Determining writing focus. 
  •  Infusing correct argument structure. 
  •  Annotating a proposal section. 
  •  Shifting the unhelpful beliefs about writing and 
  •  positively impacting team’s and individual performance psychology. 
  •  Brainstorming and planning a section in a group and individually. 
  •  Speed-writing proposal sections. 
  •  Successfully managing writer’s block. 
  •  Understanding the elements of proposal persuasion and how to apply them effectively. 
  •  Being able to develop at least one of the 11 types of proposal story. 
  •  Applying four steps for developing a metaphor. 
  •  Editing for content, structure, grammar, and spelling. 
  •  Applying readability metrics to written materials.
This course is worth every cent and every minute. For me this is a great conduit to what is out there in terms of Government contracting. A lot of information packed into a day’s class but every slide is useful and relevant. Strongly recommended.”
Summant Kapoor
Radiant Info Tech
“I have two years of experience with proposals while assigned to USSTRATCOM. Being a BD course and not a “capture” course I was surprised by how much I didn’t know about how much information is available for companies. This will make me more aware of how much we need to look in the mirror and square away our own program before submitting proposals to capture business. Excellent course.”
Ron Candiloro
Senior Tactical Systems Analyst
Tactical Air Support, Inc.
“Being new to the industry, this course has allowed me to learn the process, understand the process, and have a clear road map what to do to be successful. I will return for advanced materials and recommend this service to anyone with gaps in their business structure or strategy.”
Emilio Lopez
Vice President
Foundations of Proposal Management
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.
$1390 per one attendee
$1250 per attendee when registering a team of 3 or more
Register for an Upcoming Class
Seating is limited. Do not delay registering.
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 (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 if you’d like to attend a class via live webcast. The date and time will be the same as the classroom training.
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