Posts

Showing posts from August, 2019

On the Finiteness of Time and Making Every Moment Count

Image
Yesterday I attended a “Celebration of Life” for a dear friend from college, Lauren. She died suddenly of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
An AV-What?
A quick internet search taught me that an AVM is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins.
You might remember from science class (I had to look it up), but arteries are responsible for taking oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the brain, and veins carry the oxygen-depleted blood back to the lungs and heart. My research told me that when an AVM disrupts this vital process, the surrounding tissue becomes oxygen-deficient. This can cause the affected arteries and veins to weaken, becoming susceptible to rupture. I learned that if the AVM is in the brain and ruptures, it can cause hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), stroke, or brain damage.
The image is shocking. But I had to keep reading more. This can’t be common?
Brain AVMs are in fact quite rare, affecting less than one percent of the population. Interest…

Six Easy Changes for Stronger Proposal Writing

Image
When writing proposals, one major challenge we face is generating strong, clear, and compelling text. It’s one thing to have a grammatically correct proposal, it’s another to have a proposal that actually reads well. Sometimes we have been looking at the words so long that we lose sight of some of the easy ways that we can make our writing stronger. In this week’s article, I present six easy ways to strengthen your proposal text.
1. Use strong verbs One of the easiest ways to strengthen your writing is to express actions in verbs. To do this, it is critical to avoid nominalizations. Nominalizations are actions expressed in nouns rather than verbs. Examples include failure, investigation, movement, reaction, and refusal. Replacing weak verbs and nominalizations with strong verbs will make your sentences more dynamic, direct, clear, and concise.
Item to Avoid Example Change Nominalization The program was a failure. The program failed. We conducted an investigation on the issue. We investig…

Back to the Basics: Why Using Transition Words is Critical in Proposal Writing

Image
In proposal writing, the goal is to convince the customer that your solution provides the greatest benefits through clear and concise narratives.
However, because of limited resources and time, we often find ourselves rushing to piece together content from various sources (e.g., boilerplate content, past proposals, notes from SMEs). Then you get to Pink or Red team, and the reviewers provide unsurprising feedback: The writing doesn’t flow wellThe section seems choppyThe writing is disjointed
The problem?
You probably didn’t go back and add the necessary transition words. Transition words serve to establish logical connections between the sentences, paragraphs, and sections of the proposal.
Effective transitions enable the themes, strength statements, important features, and customer benefits to flow together. Transitions should occur at a variety of places in the response to form cohesive paragraphs and sections.
The main types of transitions include: Additive Adversative Causal Sequen…

How Business Development is like Game of Thrones: Part 4, the Finale

Image
As I asserted the last three articles, roughly two months after the season finale aired of Game of Thrones, I still can’t help but see similarities between the cutthroat environment of the show and the world of business development. The show is about a web of alliances and conflicts among the various parties involved—all of whom are seeking to gain control and power.
Within the world of business development, it is much the same. Various companies are competing against one another for work—each wanting to gain more and more control and power over their sector(s). Within these organizations, individuals are similarly fighting for power and control—some with the company’s interest at heart, and others looking out only for themselves. And within this world, we develop a web of partners and competitors—both at the individual and corporate levels.
In the last three articles, I looked at 12 Game of Thrones favorites, drawing parallels to the types of individuals we might come across in our…