Readers may assume from the title of this article that it is a parody, a satire on the How to be a Better Public Speaker genre of self-help articles.
Not so. It is neither parody nor satire. Nor is it derivative classroom theory. It is instead based on the real-world experience gained by the author in delivering over 3000 presentations, many to demanding, sometimes hostile, audiences. It is based particularly on the knowledge gained in conducting scores of training programs for Project Managers and their teams of technical experts preparing to deliver oral presentations for lucrative federal government contracts.
The opportunity for Project Managers to present to senior executives can be a “good news, bad news” venture. The good news is that it gives the PM the chance to showcase his or her capability before the people in the organization who have great influence on promotions, decisions on which projects to bid on,etc. The bad news is that a poor presentation to these senior people can cast a negative shadow over the perception of the PM’s capability.
Part 2 of Bring Home the Bacon! The Four-phase Collaboration Between Project Managers and Proposal Professionals
I hope that readers of Part One have “bought in” to the twin concepts (A) that Project Managers and Proposal Managers should work closely and early from the beginning of the bid process, and (B) that Project managers, who will be charged with “bringing home the bacon” in the oral presentation, should improve their presentation skills, not rely on their technical expertise alone.
This essay is Part one of two articles for the PMIWDC webpage. It evolves from my November 4th PM Tools presentation at the Crystal City Sheraton.
In this first part, I want to explain (a) why proposal managers/writers and project managers must work in concert, not separately as is often the case. Then (b) I’ll provide advice to enable project managers to improve their presentation skills. This advice will be based on the methodology that is the heart of my executive workshops.
In Part two, to be published on the PMIWDC website at a later date, I will outline an integrated four phase process by which writers and presenters can develop contract-winning synergy.
Over the past decade, the Federal Government has placed increasing emphasis on the "oral presentation" in awarding contracts. Additionally, Government agencies, in their Request for Proposal (RFP), are stipulating that only those who will be working on the contract, especially Project Managers, are to deliver the oral presentation.
This is obviously intended to permit government evaluators to have an "eye-to-eye" meeting with those with whom they will be working, thereby resolving issues and questions before the contract is awarded.
In a very real sense, the once lightly regarded oral presentation has become the essential tie-breaker among otherwise equal companies vying for lucrative contracts from the government.