Author’s Note: If you missed Part 1 of our Chairman’s Corner series last month, read it now before continuing on with this article. All five questions to ask yourself prior to making a proposal are pivotal to a successful pitch.

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to help our clients draft their proposals to our nation’s leaders. I have often found these presentations to be long-winded and have advised clients to make sure their proposals get right to the point. Here is why: a lengthy proposal can inhibit any further progress.

Part 2 of 5

The second question to ask yourself is: Is My Message Precise?

From the first word you put down, you have 60 seconds to capture interest or your words will be filed away and most likely never acted upon. So get to the point immediately. If your proposal takes an exhaustive amount of time to paint the picture, your audience will never embrace it. Be precise, stay on point, and deliver a concise, digestible overview.  There’s simply no time for a college-level lecture – explain your idea in terms that can be easily understood.

And, avoid using a PowerPoint presentation or any other type of comprehensive material for any initial meeting. Those are better suited for leave behind pieces when you have the opportunity for a more in-depth discussion with the staff. After all, you should know the material and key points well enough that a full-length presentation isn’t necessary.