How good design makes your pitches, tenders and proposals more effective

While your tender or proposal may not win due to great design, poor design will definitely hinder its success. Feedback from the NSW Government has told us such.

Make it simple

Our eyes and brain respond best to information displayed in a left-to-right-then-down pattern, reflecting how we normally read. Placing information on a diagonal or in a circle may look pretty fancy, but it’s a better idea to keep it logical and simple.

Choose the correct visual format for data

If you are presenting data, spare your audience the agonies of a complicated scatter plot or the tiny writing on a pie chart by showing information in a way that’s easily readable and digestible.

Data’s role is to support your written message, so displaying it in as simple a fashion as possible is the key.

By far the easiest format to present data is a standard graph. And don’t use a legend. Keep the label on the graph, rather than forcing your audience to read a legend and locate the corresponding line.

Use the same colour scheme throughout

Your message will build in strength when you use the same colour over multiple graphs; it reinforces your point and the audience won’t need to try and interpret every graph separately.

Keep plenty of white space

Don’t be afraid to embrace white space. It’s gives eyes a rest and helps avoid reader fatigue.

It also helps to separate out parts of your tender, pitch or proposal, making it easier for the reader to follow the sequence of content.

Focus attention

When you want your reader to focus on a particular point you’re making, draw attention to it by making it stand out. Doing so will not only help your audience be aware of your idea before you talk about it, but make it more memorable when you do.

You can highlight specific points or data by using a different shape, length or width; changing its size; enclosing the information in a box or other outline; positioning it so it’s out of sync with other data; or making it lighter or darker than the rest. Formatting text, such as using bold or italics, has the same effect.

If you would like help writing, editing or proofreading your business documents, head to the contact page or call me direct on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216.

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