Proposal Writing Course

This proposal writing course teaches participants how to plan and write proposals that win more business.

Available for groups as a self-paced online course, instructor-led virtual or instructor-led onsite training, and for individuals as a self-paced online course.

Course overview

This course will teach you the most efficient process to plan and organize a business proposal. It also explains how to hone language and tone to make your service, product, or solution more compelling to the client.

This is a practicum course. You will learn how to plan and write an actual work proposal with instructor review and guidance at incremental steps.

The self-paced course also includes a live one-on-one coaching session to review your final proposal and ensure future proposals are strong. 


Once you finish the Proposal Writing Course you will be able to:
  • Employ an efficient process for planning and organizing information and ideas.
  • Discern what most matters to your potential client and articulate the specific value you offer that client.
  • Persuasively document the competence, skill, and solutions your company offers.
  • Format and organize your proposal logically.
  • Express clear deliverables and present fees favorably.
  • Write with engaging, succinct, and correct language.
  • Save time writing proposals and ensure consistent quality.
  • Close more business.

Download the outline
This course outline will show you exactly how we structure our classes to help your team or you quickly become an advanced proposal writer in weeks.
Individual enrollment
Individual enrollment
Online self-paced course available for individuals. Sign up today and start learning how to become a better proposal writer.
Group enrollment
Online self-paced courses, instructor-led virtual courses, and instructor-led onsite courses can all be customized to match your company's needs. Group discounts apply.
holding proposals

Who is this course for?

This training is a great fit for you or your organization if you or your team:

  • Write new business proposals or respond to RFPs.
  • Are responsible for sales or marketing.
  • Are new to writing proposals.
  • Want to elevate the skills of experienced proposal writers.
  • Needs to save time and frustration when writing proposals.
  • Write proposals collaboratively and need to streamline that process.
  • Review proposals before submission.

The online self-paced course is divided into twelve lessons. Each lesson progressively improves a different facet of your proposal writing skills, with instructor review and coaching. At the end of the course, you will be able to plan, draft, edit, and evaluate proposals with skill and efficiency.

Browse all business writing courses here.


Course Certificate

After completing the course, you will earn a personalized certificate. You can display your certificate in the certification section of your LinkedIn profile, download it to print, or mention it in your résumé.

Individual written feedback and live coaching for every student

In this course you will receive individual feedback from the instructor. To truly improve your proposal writing skills, you need both course instruction and feedback on your actual proposal writing.

During the online self-paced course, you will apply what you are learning in sequential writing tasks that build to a final actual proposal. After submitting each exercise, you will receive both subjective and objective feedback from your instructor that also resolves your specific blocks that impede your proposal writing.

The online course concludes with a live coaching session to review your final proposal and identify additional writing improvements.

Objective feedback:
  • Is the proposal based fully on reader perspective?
  • Does the reader have all the information needed (and none that is not needed) to achieve the business objective of the proposal?
  • Is the proposal logically organized?
Subjective feedback:
  • Is your tone too blunt or too timid?
  • Are your word choices clear and strong and persuasive?
  • Can you cut any unnecessary words?
  • Are there any grammar or punctuation errors?

Instructor-led group feedback

Onsite training is highly interactive, with many individual, peer, and group activities. We will conduct group activities to help your team become better proposal writers. 

Our instructor-led virtual training is equally as engaging, with plenty of "aha!" moments and interactive group and individual exercises.

Learn more about our self-paced online, instructor-led virtual, and instructor-led onsite group trainings.

Our students’ feedback: See all testimonials
I write highly technical proposals. This course helped me tremendously to organize and express technical solutions to our non-technical clients so they clearly understand our benefits.
Technical Project Manager


My sales team is closing more business because our proposals better present the value we offer our clients instead of just the facts of our services. Huge improvement in persuasion and productivity.
VP of Sales


Trans union logo
We now know how to frame our RFP responses on the client's needs, and not so much about our company. Close rates are up.
Call Center Manager


My writing skills are strong, but I got a major benefit from understanding a proven process that I can follow for each proposal I write.
Proposals Project Engineer

Fujitsu Network Communications

Fujitsu Logo
In this comprehensive proposal writing training you will:
  • Learn the optimal proposal writing process so you can write more effective proposals faster.
  • Effectively discern the client's needs and interests.
  • Organize proposals logically.
  • Learn to craft language that cuts through information overload, so your proposal is crisp and readily understood.
  •  Research, plan, draft, and edit proposals with confidence.
  • Effectively respond to RFPs.
  • Win more business for your company.

What is included in this course?

This proposal writing course is split into several detailed sections.

Module 1
Getting Started

Meet your instructor and support team. Share your specific course goals and tell us about the proposals you write. 

Module 2
6-Steps to Effective Proposal Writing

Learn our step-by-step process to write proposals more effectively. This applies to consulting proposals, technical proposals, non-profit/NGO proposals, financial proposals, engineering and logistical proposals, and any other proposal. Also, this frames a proposal response to an RFP, an informal proposal, and a proposal letter or email.

Module 3
Analyze Your Audience Deeply

Analyzing your audience well frames everything about a proposal, including the content and organization. Learn to discern what really matters to your proposal writers so you can persuade them effectively and organize and present information that meet their needs.  

Module 4
How to Plan and Organize Any Proposal

Nothing is worse than getting a proposal that is difficult to understand due to poor organization. This module includes tips and tricks on how to organize the beginning, middle, and end of your proposal and make it quick to scan. The optimal process to organize a proposal is the same, whether the format is a formal RFP, an "informal" proposal, or a very informal email summary. 

Module 5
Drafting RFP Responses, or an Informal Proposal, or a Very Informal Email or Letter Proposal

Determining the best response: RFP, informal proposal, or a very informal email that proposes a business offering. Proposals take several forms. Learn to use what is best in each situation and begin drafting.

Module 6
Visual Persuasion

Weave in at-a-glance persuasion hooks to engage your reader and highlight the value of your offer. 

Module 7
Sending Your Proposal

We will provide you with ways to ensure you create a good first impression and guide the proposal recipient to the best next steps. 

Module 8
The Money, Deliverables, and Terms

A proposal commits you to specific deliverables, so be careful you delineate exactly what you will do and the terms expected. 

Module 9
Style and Presentation

Learn to create a visually appealing, easy-to-scan proposal.

Module 10
Tone and Word Choice

In this module, we focus on improving clarity through word choice. Ensure your proposal is a pleasure to read with concise and engaging language that presents your company as competent and confident. 

Module 11
Grammar and Syntax

Learn proofreading tactics to avoid embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes. These go beyond simple tips and tricks. These are proven grammar and syntax strategies that will make your writing more professional.

Module 12
Live Coaching Session

The course concludes with a live one-on-one video call with your instructor. During this time you can ask any questions and review feedback about your proposal. The live coaching call acts to solidify the information learned during the course so you can apply your new knowledge to future proposals and to provide detailed feedback on the proposal you wrote in the course.

Full Course Outline

Key skills you will learn:

  • Employ an efficient process for planning and organizing information and ideas.
  • Persuasively document the competence, skill, and solutions your company offers.
  • Identify and address client needs.
  • Format for quick understanding.


  • Spend less time writing each proposal.
  • Express clear deliverables and present fees favorably.
  • Write with engaging, clear, and correct language.
  • Close more business.
Feature  Includes individual feedback

This course includes award-winning instructor coaching and feedback and ongoing support.

Proposal Writing Course Instructors


Mary Cullen

  • C.A.G.S. in Composition and Rhetoric from University of New Hampshire

  • M.A. in English Literature from Boston College

  • B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island

Mary founded Instructional Solutions in 1998 and is an internationally recognized business writing trainer and executive writing coach with two decades of experience helping thousands of individuals and businesses master the strategic skill of business writing. She excels at designing customized business writing training programs to maximize productivity, advance business objectives, and convey complex information.

Mary leads the project management and instructional design on customized courses. She also personally trains the instructors who lead ongoing training.

She lives in Princeton, New Jersey where she enjoys yoga, running, cooking, tinkering with new technologies, and most especially her family.


Elisabeth O'Quinn

  • B.S. in Business & Economic Development from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

  • M.B.A. with a specialization in International Finance & Investments from the University of North Carolina

Elisabeth has a unique combination of business and business writing acumen, with extensive background in writing, editing, and content marketing management.

She has supported a variety of businesses, writing blog articles, reports, presentations, and editing business documents. She has supported many of our clients with rave reviews of her writing feedback.

Elisabeth lives in Georgia with her cat and rescue pup. In addition to writing, she loves traveling with her twin sister, learning German, and creating watercolor prints. 
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Terrance Collins

  • B.A. In Journalism and International Business from The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Terrance has deep experience in both writing and business. He has spent much of his professional life in sales and marketing positions in technology companies, where he was always the go-to person for writing. After 15 years in sales and marketing at IBM, he spent several years working internationally for Amdahl and Lotus Development in Australia and Japan. He spent four years in Rotterdam and London as European Managing Director for Persoft, Inc., a leading networking software company.

For the past six years, he held senior editing and writing coaching positions at Huawei in Shenzhen, China, and with The Motley Fool.

He enjoys gardening, travel, and pétanque. The top entry on his bucket list is to walk a sizeable part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and France.

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Lisa Nelles

  • B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Waldorf University

  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Lisa is an experienced technical writer and editor specializing in process and procedure documentation. She made her mark in aviation by developing and writing technical manuals that supported successful new programs for airlines of all sizes and set new standards for manuals in the industry.

She has also taught and tutored academic and technical writing for university students in a variety of fields. She loves helping people improve their writing to improve their careers.

She holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Waldorf University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In her free time, she enjoys writing creatively, crafting, and outdoor adventuring with her husband and twin boys. She splits her time between Iowa and Alaska.

Become a better proposal writer

For individuals and groups.

Individual enrollment
Individual enrollment


Sign up today and start learning how to become a better proposal writer.

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