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In grant writing you have to make a compelling argument to get funded. I recently read a new book, The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change, by Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker and Vonavona Ventures' Andy Smith.

 

Aaker and Smith state: “The dragonfly is the only insect to be able to propel itself in any direction-with tremendous speed and force-when its four wings are working in concert …To us, what we call the Dragonfly Effect is the elegance and efficacy of people, who, through the passionate pursuit of their goals, discover that they can make a positive impact disproportionate to their resources. Anyone who has ever created a YouTube video, written a blog or tried to get someone to join a cause on Facebook knows that simply sending out a request doesn’t guarantee results …apply concepts from design thinking. Design thinking takes a methodological approach to program and product development. It’s taught as a way to create things that are better for people who will ultimately use them...”

What I found interesting in this book was that it was driven by passion for an idea or cause that was supplemented by using social media as a tool to accomplish that goal. There are several case study lessons that can be drawn from the book that can be applied to developing a compelling argument for a proposal.

From a technical point of view, I wanted to know more about "Framing your Argument” and found “Source of Insight”, who assessed Michael Williams’, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels.

These were Source of Insight’s Key Take Aways from Williams’ book:

  • Frame your arguments. One approach is to just ask for what you want and see what happens. If the stakes are high, you’ll want to frame a compelling argument.
  • Know whether you need logic, emotion or a combination. In general, I find a combination is most effective. That said, some people are more emotionally-driven while others are more data-driven. For those that are more emotionally driven, I find that metaphors or emotional picture words work well. If you know somebody is more data-driven, be sure to do your homework…
  • Know an individual’s convincer strategy. You need to know the recipe to how an individual gets convinced…
  • Don’t misrepresent your argument. There’s a difference between improving your argument and manipulation. Present your argument in a compelling, relevant way, but don’t mislead. Integrity matters.
  • Know the meta-programs. If you know how people filter the world and what they value, you can make your argument more relevant…
  • Know the Five Thinking Styles. If you know how people think, you can better frame your argument…
  • Create a compelling business case. You can use a business case to show how big is the pie and what’s your slice. You can use a business case to either support your argument or to argue against an alternative action…
  • Calculate the impact. This includes the impact over time. Many people are driven by impact. They like to know they make a difference. If you help show them how they will make a difference, this will help you frame a more compelling argument…”

It is paramount to develop a successful proposal by having a “compelling argument.” Remember, you are trying to convince the proposal readers of the merits of your idea. Your argument needs to come across clearly and decisively. That’s what will make your proposal stand out from the others and get funded.<>