TArticles tagged with: proposal writing training

Use of personal pronouns in government proposals

Always try to be respectful of the customer

During one of Lohfeld Consulting Group’s recent proposal writing classes, a student asked, “how should we use personal pronouns in government proposals?” I answered that I always tried to be respectful of the customer I was addressing and the person to whom I am referring in the proposal and use their pronouns of choice. However, in many cases you might not know their pronouns of choice, so consider using their title. I wasn’t satisfied with my immediate answer, so I decided to consult the government’s plainlanguage.gov website. Here’s what the website indicated: Avoid using “he” or “she” You can avoid awkwardness by using “you” to address the reader directly, rather than using “he or she” or “his or her.” Make sure you use pronouns that clearly refer to a specific noun. If a pronoun could refer to more than one person or object in a sentence, repeat the name of … Continue reading Use of personal pronouns in government proposals

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Improving the quality of proposal content with a writing model – Part 1

Spend time training your proposal writers

Proposal managers are frequently faced with the challenge of proposal resources who can’t write well. We are often assigned technical resources with a reputation for poor writing and new resources whose lack of familiarity with proposals is reflected in their content submissions. This creates a lot of extra work for proposal managers to “fix” sections, and the rough content disrupts color reviews. Inevitably, reviewers either can’t resist the urge to redline the document, or they’re so frustrated trying to understand convoluted language that they mentally check out. Neither of these options leads to effective reviews that validate the content or improve the proposal. When faced with the challenge of unskilled writers, I’ve seen proposal managers take one or more of the following actions: Interview the resource and write the section for themselves Pair the writer up with a more experienced writer (often assigned to another section) Give the writer boilerplate or prior proposal … Continue reading Improving the quality of proposal content with a writing model – Part 1

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