Keys to more effective shortlist presentations

Effective Presentations


The construction projects you are proposing on are getting larger and more complicated.

The time the owner gives you to make your shortlist presentations are getting shorter.

How do you get your message to stick with your audience.


  • Focus on your team’s 3 or 4 most important strategic advantages
  • Limit the use of bullets and words
  • Challenge yourself to convey the story visually
  • Prepare presenters with enough project details make them comfortable

Having the discipline to build your presentation around no more than 3 or 4 critical themes, strategic advantages or team differentiators is critical to success. The presentation should not be looked at as a last ditch collection of items that were overlooked in your RFP submission.

Limiting text to 3 to 4 bullet points in any screen will help you to deliver your points with more clarity. This does not mean fully crafted sentences. Ideally no bullet points should extend to a 2nd line of text. These should be seen as major items that you want to direct your audience to, not complete sentences in narrative form.

Imagery is everything. Challenge yourself to convey the story visually.
Your audience or selection committee will not remember your words, but they will remember your images if you make them central to your message. High quality photos, graphics, 3D images, video clips, are all elements that should be used to engage your audience. Long after you’ve left the room, the recall of a well crafted image or graphic will stick with the decision makers, and if developed properly, they won’t need to rely on remembering your words, because your images will tell the story.

Along with effective visuals, the level of preparation of the presenters is an equally important factor in your success. While rehearsals are a major step in the preparation of a quality presentation, over rehearsing can be as bad as no rehearsing. A well-prepared presenter needs, first and foremost, to be comfortable with his part in the presentation. Presenters need to understand their role in the project well enough to discuss it in a relaxed manner. Their preparation needs to include not only looking at the plans and reading the RFP, but also looking at photography of the site or corridor where the work will be performed. Looking at photos or making a personal visit to the site, and taking some photos (even with a smartphone), will go a long way to helping the individual better understand site constraints, feel more tuned in to the project, its local conditions, potential traffic issues, and community issues that may be central to the project. At the least, they will point up issues that the owner is likely to be sensitive to. It may also contribute to your team’s chances by pointing to a better approach to logistics, staging or even means and methods.

Tags: , , , ,