Storyboards Save Time and Effort

Storyboards are conceptual planning tools used to help writers plan each section before drafting text. In the broadest sense, storyboards use words and graphics to outline a concept.

A key objective of proposal storyboards is to get and keep the focus on the prospect and their needs rather than focus on your organization and your products and services. Another key objective of storyboards is to build the win strategy into a section from the start, before any writing takes place.

When properly implemented, storyboards represent the most effective way to establish appropriate direction for the writing and prevent unfocused - or even worse, completely irrelevant - content from making it into the response. Storyboards are usually developed at the section level and are built using a logical progression of steps. The steps are:

Defining the Storyboard
The Proposal Manager will provide details concerning the nature of a particular storyboard. This information covers section topic; number of pages; number of visuals; RFP instructions; evaluation criteria; and, relevant portion of the statement of work.

Structure the Storyboard to Support the Bid Request
Here, the task is to prepare an outline of the section within the storyboard based on a thorough review of the bid's compliance requirements.

Defining the Offer
Once the structure of the storyboard is defined, it is time to tackle a detailed treatment of the offer to be made. This is done by prompting storyboard users to:

  • Identify the prospect's major issues
  • Develop the approach to resolving the issues i.e. presenting the solution
  • List the solutions' features and key benefits
  • Explain the solutions' risks and how they can be mitigated
  • Identify your relevant past performance to support the claims made

Selling the Solution
Now that a solution is fleshed out, the next step in the storyboarding process is to understand how that solution is to be sold. Storyboard users should address developing a win strategy for the section by identifying Section Discriminators that make your organization stand out from others. They should ensure that these are in sync with the relevant high-level strategy from the Proposal Management Plan (see Proposal Planning: What to Do Before Kickoff).

Next, they should strive to put on paper ghosted competitor's weaknesses. Once discriminators and ghosting have been developed, writers should be focused on composing a section theme statement that emphasizes your strongest selling point.

Describing your Approach with Key Visuals
Lastly, the storyboard should prompt writers to include key visuals that describe your intended approach. This step entails Developing Visuals that support the winning story writers are telling and writing action captions for each visual that tell the evaluator exactly what the writer wants them to understand about each visual.

By putting these storyboard elements in place and addressing them systematically, you writers stand to save time and effort. Many writers gripe at having to complete a storyboard. They think that filling out a form will waste valuable time that could be spent writing the section. But storyboarding, when done properly, actually saves time and improves the final product because it allows writers to plan their effort in full before any writing begins.

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