How to Present a Business Proposal to a Client: Try Thinking Like a Theater Producer

The good news is that your business proposal has been short listed. Even better, at a client presentation, you could win the whole thing outright. Every bidder wants the opportunity to present to the client, even if it’s scary. You must demonstrate, in your own words, assisted perhaps by video, website and props, why the client should choose you over the competition. Look at it as theater. Your cast of characters has to convince the audience that, thanks to rave reviews, you deserve the job.

Like a producer, you have to figure out the best way to present to the client. Is it how you intend to execute the project, and the role you expect client staff to play? Or, if the client’s convinced you can do the job, is it about the relationship between your people and their people? Will it work? Can you be counted on to complete the project on time, or go the extra mile? If you can show how other clients have valued working with you, the project could be yours.

Many presentations I’ve been involved with, like sales meetings and product introductions, contain theatrical elements. How will this new vehicle be revealed? How will you acknowledge a great sales team and encourage even greater success next year? The client must be confident that you can deliver. After all, they’re paying for it. Before you rehearse, you identify the role each team member must play. Your job is to describe the overall picture, the flow of the presentation, and draw together the final threads. In between, your team, such as your stage director, speech writer, video producer and web designer, discuss their roles and answer any questions.

How long do you have for this presentation, and where will it be presented? Can the client provide any needed equipment, or should you bring your own? Where anything is likely to cause a problem, keep it simple. Don’t complicate things, and test that everything is working before you begin. You do not want embarrassing moments where the video fails to cut in at a critical moment. And stick to that time limit!

This is your presentation, not the client’s, so you direct it. You tell the client, at the start, what will happen and who does what; they may be shown a sales video, a website, even a live performance. But keep this in mind. This is not a read through. The client expects you to bring your business proposal alive. I’ve watched read-through presentations and they are deadly dull. It’s tough to watch client faces glaze over.

If you’ve been asked to present your proposal, try thinking of it as a theater production. Team members must know their roles and be well rehearsed. And finally you, the lead actor, must from the beginning, hook your audience and command the stage.

Make Your House Presentable With Cost-Effective Home Staging

The main objective behind the home staging process is to actually make your house presentable to the buyers, so that it eventually gets sold as quickly as possible. Many people think that staging a house would cost them an arm and a leg, and thus prefer to keep away from it. However, the fact of the matter is that even by keeping your expenses down, you can impressively beautify your home, as home staging does not require major reconstruction. Listed below are some of the ways in which you can successfully stage your house without spending a fortune.

Generally, a house is divided into different parts namely the living room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. Now let us see how each of these parts can be managed up so that the buyers fall in love with your house at the very first sight.

* Living room – To make sure that the buyers see themselves settle in your house with their family, remove the family portraits or similar items, which can give the living room a personal touch. Besides, also remove the items, which you think are making the room appear crowded. It is also a great idea to repaint the room using neutral colors. It would give new and fresh look to your house. Give your furniture a slightly different arrangement. If you have old furniture, then you can make use of new slip-covers. However, it is still does not look presentable, then you can consider renting some new furniture pieces.

* Bedrooms – Again you can repaint the rooms using soft neutral colors for a brighter look. To make the rooms look more spacious and open, limit the furniture. Too many chairs, couches and dressers would make them look crammed. Besides, to make your closets look bigger, you can store most of your clothes somewhere else. Also, personal articles should be removed as the buyers then may not be able to see it as their own new home. It is also a great idea to purchase new bed sheets, pillows and comforters to create a clean and bright look.

* Kitchen – Well, this part of the house is expected to be the messiest of all. Therefore, cleaning it calls for more attention. Especially, if the cabinets and counter-tops have turned slightly unattractive with age, then you would be required to perform a thorough cleaning. Besides, it is also advisable to repaint your kitchen using colors, which can make it look more spacious. Besides, get the defective fixtures and leaky faucets replaced.

* Bathroom – Put as much effort and time in cleaning the bathroom, as you did while cleaning the kitchen. If you can afford, then get old bathroom fittings replaced with the new ones. Also, purchase new towels and place them on towel racks. To enhance your bathroom’s appearance, you can even put an attractive vase of fresh flowers at a suitable place.

Completing the home staging process is a walk in the park for those who have some artistic or creative flair. Even if you are not one of those, the process can still be quite easy if you take into account all the suggestions stated above.

Public Speaking – Take the 6-Second Presentation Challenge

During election season in the U.S., one of my clients, the CEO of a nonprofit organization, was invited to film an endorsement for a candidate’s television commercial. Her role was to introduce herself and her organization and explain why she supports the candidate. She was happy to participate because she is a big supporter. However, the challenge was that she only had 6 SECONDS to communicate her message!

I’ve written and spoken frequently about the importance of communicating your message within the time limit. And as means of practicing that skill, I’ve shared the improv game of Half-Life, where 2 people act out a scene in 64 seconds and then they repeat the scene in half the time – 32 seconds – and then again in 16 seconds and finally down to 8 seconds. The 8-second scene is usually hysterical and demonstrates that you can communicate a lot in a limited amount of time if you cut out the extra material and focus on the essentials.

On the other hand, communicating a complete message – especially a coherent and persuasive endorsement message – in 6 seconds is very difficult!

My client was able to do it (and in very few takes) because she prepared and practiced. Her endorsement was combined with other 6-second endorsements into a powerful short commercial.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have only 6 seconds to give your entire presentation, taking the 6-Second Presentation Challenge can help you become a more effective presenter. The next time you have to give a presentation, challenge yourself to state your message in 6 seconds.

And “your message” is defined as the one sentence that summarizes the point of your presentation, the one thing that you want your audience to remember. Yes, all the supporting details and data help, but there should only be one core message. You can also think of it as a newspaper headline or a billboard.

Why is this helpful? Well, if you can say your message to yourself in 6 seconds, then you really understand it and will be able to organize your material around it. And that means that your audience will find it easier to understand your point because they won’t be distracted by unrelated information, extraneous material or confusing organization.

While you may take a little bit longer than 6 seconds when actually saying the message to the audience during your presentation, it shouldn’t take much longer.

The 6-Second Presentation Challenge can also be applied in a networking situation. For example, what do you say at a networking event when someone asks, “what do you do?” Rather than rambling on, can you prepare and practice a 6-second statement to introduce yourself clearly, concisely and confidently?

Take the 6-Second Presentation Challenge and let me know what you come up with and how it helps you become a more effective presenter.

(To read more about Half-Life, check out my blog post – )