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May 2003 workshop

How to Prepare Winning Competitive Proposals

Event Summary
Date: Saturday, May 31, 2003
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (includes breakfast and lunch)
Place: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Conference Center
Room CC1
4301 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: 703-907-5939
Directions are below

Don't forget your business cards for networking!

About the Event

This workshop covers key tools and processes developed and successfully used by Century Planning Associates, Inc. over the past 30 years resulting in contracts worth billions of dollars. A few of the tools/processes they will cover include the win planning process, kickoff meeting preparation, Request for Proposal (RFP) decomposition, conceptual mapping, and red team reviews that work. Each attendee will receive a binder full of reference information.

Audience: This workshop will review some basics and include the best we know as very experienced and current practitioners. The beginner will feel as comfortable as the more experienced. A wide range of professionals who want to begin to learn or know more about preparing winning commercial and government proposals can benefit from this program, including business developers, proposal writers, freelancers, proposal coordinators and managers, senior corporate or non-profit executives of small to medium size companies.

As a result of this training participants will understand:

  • The federal government procurement process to enable their productive participation in the preparation of competitive bids
  • The process of competitive proposal development, from pre RFP release through preparing a best and final offer and an orals presentation
  • How to analyze and effectively respond to a federal government RFP
  • How to prepare a proposal in response to an RFP using ProposalPerfect, Century's proposal development system.

About the Speaker

Photo of Joseph T. Nocerino

Joseph T. Nocerino, Business Advisor and Competitive Acquisition Specialist, is the CEO and founder of Century Planning Associates, Inc. (Century), a professional competitive acquisition, project management, and training company, established in 1972. He returns after presenting a highly successful program of the same name for STC on October 28, 2002.

For almost 30 years, Century has specialized in corporate strategic and tactical business development and training. Century is particularly well known for its leadership and support services that identify and assess competitive opportunities, produce winning competitive proposals, and execute successful projects/programs for public and private concerns.

Joe prepares, manages, and guides acquisitions planning, strategic assessments, project/program implementation, program development and training delivery, and all aspects of competitive proposal preparation for thousands of large and small enterprises. He has written books on how to plan for and develop successful competitive acquisitions, related win plans, winning proposals, and the fundamentals of dynamic presentations for selling.


Date: Saturday, 31 May 2003
Time: All timing is approximate, dependent upon participants.

9:00 - 9:30 Setting the Scene — Introductions, Key Terms and Phrases
Proposal origins within a business development, ProposalPerfect and a winning proposal "vanilla" model
9:30 - 10:00 Being Competitive and Pre RFP Positioning
Win plan protocol, understanding of why we will win, scheduling, RFP composition
10:00 - 10:45 (with break) RFP Release and Kickoff Preparation
RFP/solicitation review, analysis and decomposition, team notification, contact sheet, "bagels … and coffee", compliance matrix, proposal architecture development (M and C into L), color codes and layout
10:45 - 11:30 The Kickoff Meeting and Pre Writing
Walking the walls, producing first cut of cover, theming and building the proposal Conceptual Map
11:30 - 12 noon Chunking and Proposal Conceptual Map Development
Where to start (executive summary; function, importance and main theme; graphics and information chunks); major themes, graphic, lead-in and chunks; horizontal flips, sub themes, graphics and chunks
12 noon - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 1:30 Proposal Red Team Review Process
How it works and when in ProposalPerfect; requires detail at the start; same team throughout; keep them happy (bagels … and coffee; lunch, dinner, …) proposal manager responsibility; managing expectations
1:30 - 2:15 Dynamic and Persuasive Writing
Writing from the Conceptual Map, ProposalPerfect Writing Model; order and integration (e.g., requirements, text, graphics); form and format — content balance, skimmers and readers; white space, margins, section first page graphic, color, font size and type (within RFP/solicitation requirements); graphic placement, references bold with full titles, use of bullets; page limitation, ensuring compliance, selling the solution, word usage, sentence and paragraph structure; positive and persuasive; substantiated themes; words integrated with graphic; summary of a summary; being concise (word efficiency) and excitement
2:15 - 3:30 ProposalPerfect Orals
Preparation using Conceptual Mapping, rehearsal, template, theme messages layout, use of graphics and text, use of color, font size and other communication parameters, teamwork, team delivery
3:30 - 4:00 Proposal Perfect Tools and Conclusion
Use of matrices, check lists and protocols; Acronym list and CD book copy


Breakfast: Muffins, fruit, coffee, and juice
Lunch: Meat and vegetarian subs, salad, cookies, and beverages

Fees and Registration

Admission Fees

$100 STC members who register and pay by May 1
$125 STC members who register and pay by May 27
$150 Nonmembers who register and pay by May 1
$175 Nonmembers who register and pay by May 27
$200 Walk-ins without advance reservations (food is not available unless you reserve in advance)

All payments must be postmarked or submitted to PayPal by the registration deadline for the above prices to apply.

Admission fees help to offset the costs of our programs. Fees may vary from program to program because of the costs of food and beverages, room rental, and other services. Our attendees pay slightly different fees depending on whether they are members, nonmembers, students, chapter volunteers, or walk-ins. We also sometimes offer a program-only option for programs that are not held in restaurants.

Chapter volunteers who are working at an event (e.g., staffing the registration table, greeting newcomers) are entitled to free admission for the event. Volunteers for each event are normally pre-determined before the registration process begins. We do not accept last-minute volunteers unless we have an unanticipated need for extra help.

Advance Reservations

We encourage and sometimes require all attendees to register in advance. For events where advanced registration is required, we cannot accept reservations after the published deadline for the event.

If you are unable to register by the deadline, you can still attend the event as a walk-in, at the cost listed under Admission fees.


  • We cannot provide food for walk-ins.
  • We do not provide refunds for late arrivals.
  • We reserve the right to bill those who register for a program, do not pre-pay, and do not attend the program.

Registration for "How to Prepare Winning Competitive Proposals"

Reservations are encouraged for this event. Advance registration and payment and must be made by Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 5 p.m. All who register after this date and time must pay the walk-in price. All information published under Advance reservations is applicable to this event.

Registration Process

To make a reservation, complete the program reservation form.


You may pay by sending a check through the U.S. Mail or by making a secure online payment through our PayPal page using your credit card, debit card, bank account, or by paying money from a funded PayPal account. (Using PayPal allows you to make purchases without revealing your credit card number or financial information to us.) We also accept cash or checks at the door. Non-registered walk-ins pay the walk-in fee listed under Admission fees.

If you have already registered and would like to submit a payment by check or PayPal, visit the program reservation page for more detailed information about making a payment.


To cancel a registration, please let us know as soon as possible. contact the Events Committee Manager. No shows who do not notify us that they need to cancel will be billed.


photo of the NRECA conference center

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Conference Center
4301 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington VA  22203
Phone: 703-907-5939

Map and directions to National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Conference Center in Arlington, VA.

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Last modified Sunday, 25-Feb-2024

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