Action Captions (Bite Size)


Action Captions make the graphics in your proposal more powerful.

Only when accompanied by an appropriate action caption, the key message of the graphic  will come across easily. Key decision makers generally skim aproposal. Remember – if the point of a graphic is not obvious, they will simply turn the page.

This bitesize course gives you a quick guide to action captions so that you can use them effectively in your proposals.

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What are Action Captions?

They urge action from the reader. After reading them, your customer or reader should accept your proposal. Graphic captures the eye and caption captures the mind of the reader. The combination of the graphic and the action caption should explain your message to the reader fully.

They should not have to search the rest of the proposal to find out what it is you are actually offering. Action captions should accompany every single figure (graphic) in your document.

Top tips for winning Action Captions:

Support every graphic in your proposal with your unique action caption

Every graphic should have an action caption. This allows you to control what the reader understands and ensures you deliver the message you want. Every action caption should consist of the figure number, the title and the caption.

Do not use ambiguous graphic labels

The point is to control what the reader understands from your graphic, so you should include as much targeted information as possible to make sure you deliver the right message and not a vague or hard to understand one.

Make the connection between benefit and graphic feature

Your action caption should deliver your message, so use it to stress the benefit. Start your caption with the benefit to catch the reader’s eye.

Use action captions below the graphic

This is the style widely followed by most people in newspapers, textbooks, etc. To save time for the reader, each of your graphics should be labelled with the number of the text section they refer to.