Seminars, Workshops and Events

Is it an Art or a Science? The Secrets of Successful Proposals Revealed (1.5 hours)

Join Keith Parker, Managing Director and Founder of The Proposal Centre, as he uncovers the hidden truths and unlocks the elusive secrets of proposal success.

Fear not! Proposals are not the evil most of us believe them to be. In his presentation Keith will share with attendees the tips and techniques that make proposal writing bearable, if not fun, and most importantly, consistently successful. From how to make the bid-no bid decision, to tips and techniques on how to respond to Government Requests for Proposals (RFP), the materials covered during this presentation will be applicable to proposals primarily in the public and not-for-profit sectors, with particular focus on how to respond to bids with the federal and other levels of government.

Proposals are truly part art and part science. Come find out why!

Prior to COVID, this session had been held regularly since October 2009 at Invest Ottawa (formerly the Entrepreneurship Centre). It has also been presented at industry associations and private events, in person and via webinar format, with customized content to match the specific interests of the attendees.

Beyond the Secrets: The crash course in how to create successful public sector proposals (3.5 hours)

Following up on the highly successful “Is it an Art or a Science? The Secrets of Successful Proposals Revealed” seminar, this course will delve into the details of how to develop a winning proposal.  Focusing on the science of responding to formal Requests for Proposals (RFP), Requests for Standing Offers, and other similar requests, participants will walk through the process of preparing proposal responses.  Specific topics will include:

  • How to review an RFP
    • Understand the different types of RFPs published by the different levels of government, other public sector entities, not for profits, and private sector companies
    • Learn how to hone in on the key sections of an RFP
    • Determine if the bid is right for you and identify what it will take to win.
  • How to seek clarification and obtain the answers you want without tipping off the competition
  • How to create the proposal shell as a foundation for success
  • How to respond to typical mandatory and rated criteria
  • How to put the finishing touches on the bid without missing the deadline
  • How to close the proposal and move forward with post-submission activities
    • Responding to clarifications
    • Presentations and Interviews
    • Archiving and Creating Boilerplate
Unlike other courses which focus on the end result, this course focuses on helping sellers create successful proposals. If you are interested in knowing where to start and the path to take when faced with responding to an RFP this course is for you.

There is a fee to take this course. This workshop is held based on demand. Please contact us to be added to our waiting list or to schedule a session for your association or company.

This session has been presented multiple times at Invest Ottawa (formerly the Entrepreneurship Centre), and at the Project Management Institute, Ottawa Valley Outaouis Chapter Saturday Morning Seminar Series. This seminar has also been adapted as part of a number of customized training courses developed for individual businesses and to business services/economic development organizations.

Successful Proposals: Not just the start of Successful Projects (1 hour)

In this presentation Keith Parker will provide attendees with the other view of proposals.  Proposals are projects on their own and are best managed as such.
 Mr. Parker will present an overview of the proposal lifecycle and will provide practical tips for every step of the way.  Special emphasis will be given to the project initiation and project planning process groups which are essential to the success of the proposal effort and to any work that follows.

Specific topics that will be addressed include:

  • Making the Bid-No Bid decision
  • Assembling the Proposal Team
  • Assembling the Bidding Team
  • Asking (or not asking) Questions
  • Preparing to Live with the Commitments made
  • Managing and Using Intellectual Capital

Come and find out how you can help your organization successfully manage proposals and increase your win rate.

This seminar has been twice presented to Project Management Institute (PMI) Ottawa Valley Outaouais Chapter (OVOC). Based on feedback from participants and interest in more in-depth information on the topic, a 4-hour seminar/workshop based on our “Beyond the Secrets” workshop was held as part of PMI OVOC’s Saturday Morning Seminar Program.

Other Presentations and Panel Discussions

Keith Parker, Managing Director of The Proposal Centre, frequently speaks on subjects related to proposal management as well as topics related to selling to government and other public sector agencies. He has participated in panel discussions, round tables, and task forces.