Seminar Instructor: Clay Spinuzzi, PhD

Next Run: TBD

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.

Writing Persuasive Business Proposals

This course 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.

Writing Persuasive Business Proposals

Location: UT Austin Campus
Date: TBD
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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Seminar Pricing
Seminar Fee Includes:
  • Course Registration
  • Parking
  • WiFi Access
  • Lunch 
  • Refreshments
  • Course Materials

Spinuzzi_CClay Spinuzzi is a Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at UT Austin. Dr. Spinuzzi leads HDO 386: Persuasion and Argumentation in the HDO Master's Degree program. 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.

Dr. 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).
For participants coming in for seminars from outside the Austin area, there are several hotels near campus, many within walking distance. HDO recommends the following hotels:

HDO works with these many of these venues on a regular basis. If you need assistance selecting a hotel, please contact Jessica Crawford, HDO's Senior Administrative Associate at 512-232-7343 or

On-campus parking is covered for all participants for the day of their seminar. For transit information, please visit Capital Metro's website.

Payment Options

Payment is due at the time of registration. Enrollment is guaranteed upon receipt of payment.

  • Credit Card: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (credit card payments must be made through the online registration system accessible via the “Register” button on active seminar pages).
  • Check – Payable to “Human Dimensions of Organizations.” Please contact us if you prefer to pay via check.
  • Payment Plan – Only available for Group Discounts.

Fees and Discounts

HDO’s Professional Seminars cost $750 each. This fee covers the course, parking, food, wifi access, and materials for the day. There are early-bird registration discounts available, as well as group/organizational and UT staff and alumni discounts (more information below).

UT Staff & Alumni Discount: Discounted registration is also available for all UT staff and alumni. Please select your appropriate status when registering to receive the 20% discount.

Certificate Program Discount: Certificate Seekers save 30% on their Certificate courses as opposed to registering for individual seminars. Learn more about our Certificate Programs here.

Group Discounts: Groups and organizations can now purchase a discounted block of four or more registrations for HDO’s One-Day Seminars. You can use these registrations for anyone at your organization to attend any upcoming seminar(s). There is no time frame in which your registrations must be used – attend at your convenience, based on your availability. Groups can save up to 50% off the normal seminar registration fees via this option. Learn more at the Group Package Pricing site.

Current and Former HDO Master of Arts students: While you are a student in the Master’s program your registration for all seminars is free. After you graduate, you can participate in additional seminars at the discounted price of $200 per seminar. Please select your appropriate status when registering to receive either free or discounted admission.

Prospective Master of Arts students: If you participate in one or more HDO Professional Seminars and then enroll in the Master’s program, you will be refunded the amount you paid for the seminar(s) on your first tuition bill (up to $750.00).

Refunds and Transfers

Seminars, dates, and faculty are subject to change and/or cancellation. If a seminar is canceled by Human Dimensions of Organizations, enrollment fees will be fully refunded. HDO is not responsible for reimbursing travel-related expenses if a seminar is canceled.


Qualified cancellations must be received in writing by email. The following fees will be deducted from the amount refunded based on when the cancellation request is made:
    • More than 30 days before seminar: Full refund minus a $25 administrative fee.
    • Fifteen to 30 days before seminar: Full refund minus a $100 administrative fee.
    • Less than 15 days before seminar: No refund.


Participants may transfer their registration to another HDO Professional Seminar if an email request is made. Transferees will have one year from date of their original transfer request to attend an alternate seminar. The following fees will be deducted from the amount refunded based on when the transfer request is made:
    • More than 30 days before seminar: No fees incurred.
    • Fifteen to 30 days before seminar: $25 transfer fee.
    • Less than 15 days before seminar: $50 transfer fee.
You may offer your seat to another person or send a substitute at any time without incurring any additional fees. We request you communicate with us by email if you choose to send another person in your place. Human Dimensions of Organizations reserves the right to change without notice any statements contained herein, concerning, but not limited to, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, and courses.


I’ve been in Executive Management for over 20 years. The courses I took in the HDO program helped me to gain a fresh perspective on management; specifically, on how people work. I highly recommend taking a seminar or obtaining a certification in this program.

– Dorothy A. Benavidez, Executive Vice President, CRAssociates, Inc.


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