Moving between RFP and the Orals

May 29, 2018 | Catherine, Telperion

So, you’ve got through the RFP stage. Brilliant. Now you receive an invitation to Orals… Don’t panic. There’s no need to start from scratch again. There is a reason why you have been selected; something that captured your client’s attention. Recall (or find out) exactly what this was and make this message a key part of your Orals session. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

But equally, this is not the time to rest on your laurels. By no means does a CEO want to waste their time watching a 2-3-hour presentation of you repeating the content of your written response to RFP. They’ve already read it. Now’s the time to raise your game, build onthe RFP and drive your message home.

They are called ‘Orals’ for a reason – a presentation, by its nature, is completely different from a written report. You’ve already laid out your stall in a 100 or so pages, this is about being seen and building rapport. Eyeball your client and tell them how you can solve their problems. Also, make sure the delivery team are the ones presenting. Give that assurance and show who is accountable.

Don’t forget though that Orals work both ways. It’s not a monologue, but a two-way conversation; an opportunity to hear direct from the horse’s mouth. Build time into your presentation for audience feedback and interaction. Have you got samples for them to try? Can you facilitate mini-workshops and discussions? Be inventive! Get them on their feet and talking!

So remember, build on your key messages from RFP, engage directly with your customer, be inventive, and you will make yourselves more memorable than a written response ever can.

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