Somewhat at the last moment, I was handed the honour of opening last week’s UKAPMP conference in Bournemouth with my presentation on “The Proposal Top Ten”, in which I helped the audience to benchmark their proposal capabilities.
I was followed onto the stage by David Magliano, Marketing Director for the winning 2012 London Olympic bid. Of all his fascinating anecdotes, what really stuck in my mind was the preparation that went into the team’s final presentation to the Olympic decision-makers. London had six speakers, each talking for three minutes. In case one of these fell ill, they’d also lined up a substitute who could jump in to replace any of the six (putting across the same key messages, but swapping in his own personal anecdotes for those of the original speaker).
The team leaders had watched the tape libraries to study every single presentation from the previous 12 years of Olympic bids. They created a replica of the presentation suite, so the speakers were familiar with the set-up in advance.
By the time they presented, they’d reached version 35 of the script. They’d had 10 rehearsals as a group, and each speaker had 20 hours of individual coaching.
Now, most of us aren’t involved in bids of that scale, and couldn’t afford to invest the time or costs associated with that degree of planning. But it does throw down a challenge – are your bid teams rehearsing their presentations, or simply turning up and hoping that it’ll be alright on the day?
PS how wonderful to see an audience of 220 at the conference – huge credit to the organisers, including Mike, Pat, Ian, Richard and Frances.