Defining Success One Heel at a Time

By Bette Sturino, CP APMP We've all been beginners (novices) of something at some point in our lives. For parents, remember that 'inexperienced' feeling you had when you brought home your firstborn baby? Or getting that uneasy feeling when driving a new car or rental car off the lot? Or how you felt your first week at a new job, and of course this one - working on that first RFP assigned to you? In times like these, feelings of incompetency and questioning failure will fill our heads...
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Jargon in Proposals: How to Avoid Trouble

Jargon can be a great help or a huge hindrance. It all depends on how you use it. Jargon is a great way to share information both effectively and efficiently, but it’s only effective if everyone involved understands the jargon you’re using. The good news is almost all proposal professionals agree you have to be cautious whenever you employ jargon. The bad news is there’s little agreement and often much confusion on what jargon is, when it’s OK to use it, how you use it effectively, and w...
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Prioritize Yourself

By Margaret McGuire “You always have time for the things that you prioritize.” The leader of my business development organization recently sent us an email with that theme – and he is right. So, prioritize yourself. Our jobs as proposal and business development professionals mean that we are often under the pressure of deadlines, and time can easily escape us. For a well-rounded life, we need to harmonize all our work, family and community commitments with reserving some time for our pers...
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The Care and Feeding of SMEs

By Margaret Helwig, CF APMP Chances are, if you are reading this, than you are someone who believes in the importance of sound, well-written, and well-developed proposals. You know that we need to provide thoughtful, complete, and accurate information so that those tasked with making decisions based on the information provided can make the best decision for their organization (which is, of course, to choose your organization’s offered option). To provide these responses, we need information ...
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How Cross-Country Skiing Helped Me Understand Strategic Planning

By Tony Des Chenes I am an avid cross-country skier. When I can get the chance I head up north and hit the trails. I took up the sport as a kid, but time and location made it more and more difficult to get out. I had also taken up downhill skiing, which is a great deal of fun. I had wonderful times taking downhill ski trips with the family to some of our favorite hills in Michigan. But, as I have gotten older I have discovered that my days of racing down the hills may be behind me. For thos...
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APMP Membership: A Bounty for Proposal Newbies

By Nichole L. Reber After nearly 20 years as a freelance journalist and marketing consultant in the AEC industry, 2018 marked a radical career change to become a senior technical writer of federal proposals. The position optimizes my writing and editing experience, research and interview skills, and fondness for processes and technical subjects. Now it’s time to redefine success? Where would I be in five years, or upon retirement? APMP helped answer some of those questions. Within a few m...
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Making Proposals Friendly to Colorblind Readers

By: David Seibert If you use color graphs and charts to communicate information in your proposals, then the 8% of men and .5% of women who are colorblind may not understand your message. Background The term “colorblind” is a misnomer; it should be called color deficient, not color blind. People who are colorblind can see color; we just can’t see as many shades as someone with normal color vision. I am red/green colorblind, the most common type. I can see Santa Claus red, kelly green...
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Giving you an edge: 5 ways a mentor can help you take your proposal management career to the next level

In this dynamic industry, it’s important to stay sharp. If you’re looking for a way to boost your proposal management career, a mentor might give you the advice and edge you’re looking for. Here are five situations in which a proposal mentor can help give you perspective and an advantage: 1. You want to become a better leader. In many situations as a proposal manager, you’re faced with problems only true leadership can overcome. If you’re facing internal challenges or a big, tough bi...
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