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The One Page Proposal
 
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The key to pitching your bright idea with one persuasive page.

The key to pitching your bright idea with one persuasive page.

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  • It's amazing it takes over 1,000 words to tell us how to write a 400 word proposal. By the time you get to 'Rationale,' which it says is supposed to be the longest part, you've already filled your page. And that's cutting things down to their bare minimum. This comment alone is 54 words.
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  • Awesome stuff
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  • I am happy to post the proposal I put together based on this advise if there is a way to do so.
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  • This was great and very helpful; I just need a picture of a sample paper!!
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  • So helpful! Thanks!
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    The One Page Proposal The One Page Proposal Presentation Transcript

    • The One-Page Proposal The key to pitching your bright idea with one persuasive page - concepts & references from “The One-Page Proposal” by P. Riley
    • What is a one-page proposal?
      • It is a document that:
      • concisely explains all the factors, reasons for, and circumstances concerning the proposed action
      • proposes a specific action to be taken
      • uses the persuasive process to construct a strong case for saying “yes”
      • accomplishes all of the above in a single, powerful page
    • Why Only One Page?
      • decision makers are busy people
      • a one-page document shows respect for their time
      • a concise message recognizes your readers’ knowledge, experience, good judgment, and their ability to act quickly and decisively
      • too much information can slow down or prevent decision making
      • easier decisions are the first (and sometimes the only) ones to be made
    • Why one and a half won’t do
      • your aim is to present a course of action that appears to be as easy as possible
      • if it’s more than one page, even the first page may not be read
      • all the effectiveness, power, reader appeal, and elegance that comes from condensing your ideas is lost if the message exceeds one page
    • Why one and a half won’t do - the team photo analogy
      • would you take a picture of your hockey/soccer/
      • baseball team that cuts out two of the group because they are standing outside the frame?
      • similarly, to put the last few details of your pitch on a second page suggests those second-page components are not as significant or important
      • it fragments and devalues the overall impact
      • it also looks like poor planning
    • Less is more
      • a single page of about 400 words will take an average reader three to four minutes to review and absorb
      • it’s those critical few minutes inside your readers’ mind that you are after
      • doing so will accomplish your #1 mission in the proposal process…
      • the seed of your idea will be planted inside the heads of your target audience
    • Added benefits of the one-page proposal approach
      • the process of condensing your pitch into a single page can be a significant and effective step in clarifying your own ideas
      • it can help you to identify clear objectives and focus on them, identify flaws, target your thinking, and fine-tune your pitch
    • The strategic steps of your one-page pitch
      • Follows a logical process of thought:
      • Title and Subtitle –what’s to come
      • Target and Secondary Targets - goals
      • Rationale – background, reasons, the pitch
      • Financial - $$$
      • Status – what’s happening
      • Action – what do you want?
    • Section 1: TITLE and subtitle
      • TITLE (ALL IN UPPER CASE) labels and defines the entire proposal
      • TITLE condenses the details into a single, captivating phrase – if nothing else gets read, this will
      • subtitle (in upper and lower case below the main title) gives more detail, builds interest, adds “punch”
      • subtitle provides a second chance to “hook” your reader
    • Section 2: TARGET: (title in italicized upper case and underlined)
      • this is the main goal of your proposal
      • could also be called the “intention”
      • briefly explains in plain language the principal intent of your proposal
      • answers your reader’s question, “What exactly will happen if I accept this proposal and it goes forward?”
      • begins with “TO” and all in UPPER CASE
    • Secondary targets (not titled)
      • each secondary target statement also begins with “to” as in the main target statement
      • almost all proposals have more than one target/objective
      • alone, each may not be able to justify the proposal, but together they add weight and purpose to the main objective
      • secondary targets highlight additional perceived benefits and increase the odds for approval
      • in your reader’s mind your idea goes from “this is an interesting idea” to “this a great idea”
    • Rationale (not titled)
      • this, the longest section, is the all-important step where you “sell” your idea
      • better still, if this section is well crafted, your proposal will sell itself
      • in two or three concise paragraphs, it convincingly presents all the reasons why your proposal should be accepted (think benefits!)
      • back up your objectives by showing you’ve done your homework – discuss needs and present key features, advantages, and benefits
      • here’s your chance to show you are prepared, and to infect the reader with your passion!
    • FINANCIAL (title in italicized upper case and underlined)
      • the financial section discusses cost and revenue issues, as well as related money considerations
      • this is where you clarify the financial commitments required from the reader
      • even though the reader may not be a financial investor, it is still important to explain the money issues in order to gain the necessary support and backing
    • STATUS (title in italicized upper case and underlined)
      • Here’s where you answer some key questions:
      • what is the current situation?
      • what has been accomplished already and/or what preparations are underway?
      • who have you talked to and are there any agreements/related deals already in place?
      • Note: a great chance to build credibility and momentum
    • ACTION (title in italicized upper case and underlined)
      • your action statement is in response to your reader’s implied question “What exactly do you want me to do?
      • all you’ve presented thus far has been building up to this all-important statement
      • you must be very specific about what you want – is a recommendation, an endorsement, a financial investment, a loan, a personal time commitment?
      • remember – if you don’t ask for something, it’s not a proposal
    • A review of the key steps
      • Title and subtitle
      • Target and secondary targets
      • Rationale
      • Financial
      • Status
      • Action
    • Limitations
      • some government proposals have a certain format, length, and sequence of presentation
      • grant proposals – some foundations and other granting bodies require proposals to be submitted on forms they provide
      • proposals for public or private funding as well as architecture, engineering, and environmental impact studies are often too complex; however, a One-page Proposal may still be a perfectly appropriate “toe-in-the-door” document
      • literary proposals are traditionally lengthy; again, an effective One-page Proposal could certainly result in a request for the standard version
    • Summing up The One-Page Proposal
      • presents and promotes your bright ideas on a single, powerful page
      • targets busy, hard-to-reach decision makers and shows respect for their time
      • focuses on key benefits and makes it easy for your reader to evaluate and decide quickly
      • provides a fast and effective way to help your ideas become realities
    • The One-page Proposal: the key to pitching your bright idea