What and How To Rehearse For Winning Tenders

Written by David Pullan

What and How To Rehearse For Winning Tenders

This week I spoke to a client who told me that the reason they won a recent pitch was that they didn’t look over rehearsed. 


What this really means is that it didn’t feel like an artificially staged event. The presentation felt like a dialogue.


Now as a communication coach who rehearses teams for pitches I could feel threatened by that piece of news.


However I want you to think about three things this week if you are preparing a competitive tender.


1. Dialogue is always more effective than a standard presentation. The sooner you get your client talking in a pitch the better. Sitting and listening to information is a terrible way of making messages stick.


2. The reason we rehearse is to give that dialogue a clear purpose and structure. The danger of free flowing conversation with added time pressure is that you won’t land all of your messages. You need a clear structure to guide the dialogue. You also need to rehearse conversations so that you can find the hooks to weave in your message. 


3. Your audience isn’t your audience.


Let’s unpack that last statement.


If you see your client as an audience then you are putting on a show for them. This has the potential to look staged.


What I would suggest is that you see your client as a fellow performer in the scene.


As an actor you are always looking to discover what is at stake in a scene and the way that your lines change the emotional state of your fellow performer.


It should be the same in a pitch.


Inevitably a pitch has a lot at stake. The words you say should always be looking to change the way that your client thinks or feels about your offering.


If you think this way then you will always create a purposeful dialogue and you won’t run the risk of looking staged.


The paradox of course is that it takes a lot of preparation and rehearsal to achieve this.



photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55459001@N00/4858695196">The Tragedy of the Prince of Denmark</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>






  • W B Yeats

    'Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people.'