It’s a busy time of year in the proposals game in Australia, with many contracts that are up for renewal or set to change hands on July 1 going out to tender now. Even when you’re working to tight deadlines, it’s important not to sacrifice the quality of presentation for the sake of just “getting it done”. According to research conducted by 3M, and cited by bid graphics specialists 24 hour Company (USA), quality proposal graphics increase the likelihood of winning by 43%.
So how do you improve presentation and create graphics when you’re under-resourced and overstretched?
The good news is that there are plenty of free or low-cost DIY tools available which mean you don’t have to be (or employ) a graphic designer to get great-looking proposal graphics.
- The simplest and easiest way to get started is by using the Smart Art tools available in PowerPoint, which will have you creating simple charts and diagrams in no time. If you are going to use Smart Art, use the PowerPoint version, not the Microsoft Word one. The PowerPoint version seems to have more functionality and options.
- A step-up option is to explore the range of free or low-cost infographic creation tools available. Sarah James of Creative Bloq graphic design has a number of suggestions including Vizualize, Easel.ly and Piktochart - http://www.creativebloq.com/infographic/tools-2131971
- Finally, if you’d like more design polish, go for customisable design templates like those that can be found at www.getmygraphic.com (designed by 24 Hour Company, who specialise in graphic design for bids and proposals) or http://www.poweredtemplate.com/powerpoint-diagrams-charts/index.html
Visuals make process information much easier to understand, and have the added benefit of making information seem more concrete and solid and not something that you just made up out of your head.
At the very minimum, any time you’re talking about a process, methodology or sequence of steps, turn this into a diagram. Smart Art makes this easy and won’t take a lot of your time.
Happy DIY designing!