Training course: Proposal Writing

Course overview

The ability to write a persuasive proposal is beneficial in many situations. For example, justifying a budget increase, winning a competitive bid, or convincing your manager or client of the merits of a new project.

Proposal writing requires a different set of skills, though, from those needed for report writing. You must demonstrate that you're providing what your readers need, clearly enumerate the benefits of your proposal, and convince your readers of your ability to deliver these benefits at a reasonable cost. This course will provide you with the skills to do just that.

During the course, you'll work on a real-world proposal to take back to your workplace.

Course duration

One day.

Table of contents

Here is a table of contents and sample pages and a detailed list of outcomes for the course (PDF, 480 KB).

Course rationale

The course meets the following business needs:

  • Proposals are expected to conform to certain structural conventions. If they don't, they may be rejected by your readers or viewed as amateurish. Conversely, proposals that conform to people's expectations are more likely to be described as 'professional' and will be taken more seriously.
  • Much of today's writing is so complex or awkwardly phrased that it's difficult for its intended audience to understand. This can make it harder to persuade readers of the correctness and worth of your ideas. Clarity and plain English can lead to greater comprehension and an increased likelihood that your document brings about your desired goals.
  • Being able to persuade your readers to act as you wish them to is a difficult skill to master. You need to understand their needs before you can hope to persuade them to meet your needs.

Course outcomes

After mastering the course's contents, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the critical difference between reports and proposals.
  • Identify the essential questions that you must answer before beginning any report.
  • Describe the six structural elements that should be in any proposal.
  • Explain why the executive summary is vital to the success of your proposal.
  • Write a short background section that provides the context that ensures readers will understand why your proposal is necessary and beneficial.
  • Include cost information in a format that is accessible to both accountants and non accountants.
  • Employ a modular format that easily enables you to add additional sections, as needed, on such topics as risks, schedules, training, equipment and legal issues.
  • Use simple language in place of complex, pretentious language.
  • Employ highly effective persuasion strategies.
  • And much more.

Target audience

This is an essential course for all mid-level and senior staff.