How to Present a Project Proposal

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Being properly prepared helps you clearly articulate your message.
Being properly prepared helps you clearly articulate your message. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Presenting a project proposal can be a key step in the development of any business idea. Cultivating the contacts necessary to gain an opportunity to present a proposal can be an exhaustive effort, so it is important to take full advantage of the opportunity by presenting a clear message about your project idea. With adequate preparation and a keen understanding of the project you are proposing, it becomes possible for anyone to successfully present a project proposal.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Index cards
  • Slideshow software
  • Computer
  • Overhead projector

Make a list of bullet points to follow during the course of the project presentation. Think about the project and consider all the discussion points that are important to include in the presentation. Organize these into an order that makes sense as the discussion moves from one point to the next. Use this list of bullet points as a guide when developing your presentation.

Prepare a set of index cards to highlight the discussion. Use one or two index cards for each of the bullet points on your list. Label the bullet point at the top of the card, then quickly list an outline of what you would like to say about it. Identify the most important message you can deliver about that part of the project and make sure to include those statements.

Prepare a slide show presentation to accompany your verbal presentation. Use a slide show software program to create a series of slides depicting graphs and text that illustrate the points you are speaking about. Connect your computer to an overhead projector to project the slide show so that everyone can see it easily.

Rehearse your presentation frequently. The idea is to be familiar enough with the topic to sound like you are speaking naturally when you deliver your presentation, as opposed to obviously reading notes off your card. If you have an assistant operating the slide show part of your presentation, practice the presentation together so you can identify which moments should signal the next slide.

Include key members of your team who are part of the project. Have them available during the presentation so that questions can be deferred to the person who has the most knowledge about that particular aspect of the project. Try to anticipate common questions in advance so that they can be answered as part of the presentation, eliminating the need for any anyone to ask directly.

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References

  • "Presentation Skills 201: How to Take It to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter"; William R. Steele; 2009
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