John de Forte

The anatomy of persuasion

JdforteGut feel may tell you that the message is unconvincing, but it may be hard to put your finger on the reason. Introducing a simple framework to help you ensure your proposals are persuasive.

About John De Forte

John de Forte has helped a wide range of organisations and consortia to win flagship contracts in the public and private sector. This has included acting as editor in chief on major proposals involving multiple author teams in the UK and abroad. His training workshops provide bidders with frameworks to bolster persuasiveness and improve their writing skills.

The principal of de Forte Associates, a consultancy which has advised on proposals for over 20 years, he is author of Proposals Pitches & Beauty Parades (published by the FT/Pitman) and speaks frequently on procurement-related topics. He is a regular presenter at the APMP conference, where according to feedback from participants his sessions have consistently been among the best received.


A credible track record and an appropriate solution: these are likely to be important ingredients in any bid, yet they won’t on their own make your proposal persuasive. John will discuss the elements that need to be present in order to convince evaluators that your answer is worth a high mark – and to overcome their natural scepticism about your claims. He will introduce the four 'bases' that comprise a rounded argument - and how they can be integrated to produce a compelling answer.

Participants will be invited to analyse some sample text and, using a simple framework, identify the gaps in the proposition. The group will discuss how the material could be enhanced and restructured to maximise impact and achieve the best possible score.