Seminar Instructor: Clay Spinuzzi, PhD
In this course, participants will examine business proposals as persuasive arguments. Through a guided process, participants will take existing proposals apart, examine their underlying components, and learn how to reconstruct them in ways that make the proposals more effective.
Next Run: November 18, 2016; 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Writing Persuasive Business Proposals empowers participants to understand and utilize business proposals as persuasive arguments.
This seminar adopts a hands-on approach: Through a guided process, participants will take existing proposals apart, examine their underlying components, and learn how to reconstruct them in ways that make the proposals more effective.
Participants are invited to bring in current or former cases from their professional experience to work on in the seminar.
Using a proven methodology for developing these types of documents, participants will generate basic proposal arguments based on a case study presented in the course. This case study will allow participants, working in small groups, to identify key problems; generate components of the proposal; analyze stakeholder dynamics; tie these complex elements together into a coherent, easily comprehensible argument; and outline a proposal based on this groundwork. Finally, the class will apply these new tools to actual cases brought in by participants.
After this seminar, participants will be able to:
- Understand basic proposal structure and logic.
- Identify basic proposal sections and understand how they work together.
- Clarify and identify objectives.
- Develop a methodology for reaching the objective.
- Perform audience analysis by identifying stakeholders, investigating their concerns, and weighting criteria accordingly.
- Connect your team’s qualifications with the specific requirements implied in the situation and methodology.
- Develop structured benefits that address the situation.
- Tie these complex elements into a coherent argument.
- Learn how to rework an ill-defined problem into an effective proposal.
- Pour all this information into a basic proposal format.
Who will benefit from participating in this course?
The proposal-writing methodology used in this seminar was developed for groups and individuals working in large consulting agencies, but it also applies to other sorts of report and proposal writing in a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations.
Clay Spinuzzi is a Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at UT Austin. He has presented at industry conferences, including SXSW, and recently led a SXSW core conversation on communication in distributed workplaces. His research focuses on how organizations circulate and coordinate information to solve complex problems. Spinuzzi has published several award-winning articles and four books: Tracing Genres through Organizations (MIT Press, 2003), Network (Cambridge University Press, 2008), Topsight (Amazon CreateSpace, 2013), and All Edge: Inside the New Workplace Networks (University of Chicago Press, 2015).