HEADINGS

Headings play an important role in the reception of a proposal. Effective headings have the power to fetch you higher evaluation scores. Good headings should convey a clear message, capture the reader’s attention, and address the evaluators’ specific requirements. The major goals that a heading ought to achieve are;

  • Break large amounts of text into smaller, comprehensive sections
  • Make important information easy to locate
  • Simplify complicated information
  • Make your proposal easier to score

Best Practices

  • Follow exact bid request instructions for proposal headings, including heading content, numbering scheme, and heading levels

Always follow the customer’s guidelines for heading and format. Compliance is a key feature in proposal writing. Headings can be crafted in two ways, using exact headings given in the instructions and using headings with supporting details added.

  • Use an informal table of contents

Include an introductory paragraph referred to as an informal table of contents at the beginning of each section. Whenever a correction is made in the section or the heading, make sure that this introductory paragraph is also updated.

  • Use headings to convey key benefits and discriminators

 Use headings as a tool to seize the reader’s attention and explain the solution’s benefits and discriminators in a way that distinguishes you from the others.

  • Use informative and telegraphic headings as appropriate

Headings must be informative so that it inspires the reader to go on reading. The evaluators should be able to understand your message just by reading the heading. Headings convey the key selling points with clarity. Telegraphic headings can be used for standard sections like Executive Summary, Proposal Overview etc.

  • Use verb headings to convey action and noun headings to demonstrate your purpose

Verbs in headings illustrate the actions that will result from choosing the solution that you have suggested. Do not forget that the verbs should be written in the same tense throughout your document. Noun headings can be used for giving brief answers to straightforward questions in the proposal.

  • Create a clear hierarchy of information

All the subheadings used in the proposal should directly relate to the primary headings. It is best to use numbers while dividing a section under different subheadings. In case there are more subheadings, use run-in headings to give a similar effect to a new subheading.

  • Maintain consistency throughout your document.

No matter what style is chosen, right aligned, left aligned, centre aligned or intended, make sure that the headings at the same level are consistent throughout the proposal. Also, ensure the grammatical consistency of the headings. The flow of the document must be smooth.

            Proper headings make the reader’s aware of what to expect in subsequent sections, and help evaluators find responses to specific questions easily. The most effective headings are informative, numbered, and consistent in structure. Consistency in heading styles is extremely crucial for the success of a proposal.

The article briefly details key examinable syllabus area from the APMP Practitioner certification.

Based on APMP Copyrighted Material

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