If you want to win, you should replace as much text with graphics as is possible
- The hardest part of enhancing your proposal with graphics is identifying them.
- Once identified, the actual illustration is straightforward.
- Conceptualizing graphics and rendering them are two different things. They are often handled by different people.
Identifying graphics for proposals requires no creativity whatsoever. Rather than looking at a section and trying to picture it, instead simply look for bullets. Anything that can be written as bullets is a potential graphic. The reason is that most proposal graphics illustrate a relationship or a process. Bullets often contain a sequence, a list of ingredients, a set of choices, or a list of examples. Any text that describes a relationship or makes a comparison could also be a potential graphic.
Once you’ve identified a potential graphic, it’s time to describe it. Simple hand-drawn images that show the major components should be sufficient. In fact, you can often identify a graphic using nothing but text. When identifying the graphic, you should describe:
- The primary objective of the graphic, or the conclusion you want the reader to reach.
- The audience for the graphic, including their needs and preferences.
- The questions that the graphic should answer.
- The subject matter being described.
- Finally, use the conclusion you want to reader to arrive at after viewing the graphic to write the caption.
This will provide the information that the illustrator needs to render the graphic. It will also enable people to review your section prior to the completion of the graphic.
Even if there is no graphics support available for your proposal and you must render your own graphics, identifying graphics using this approach will make it easier for you to render your graphic and ensure that it meets the needs of the proposal.