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Image / Agenda / Business

Top tips: How to write a business award entry that stands out


By Victoria Stokes
03rd Mar 2023

istock

Top tips: How to write a business award entry that stands out

Winning a recognised business award can elevate your business profile in ways you might never have imagined. But starting to write your nomination for business award can be daunting, so we've asked professional writer Victoria Stokes for her top tips on how to stand out from the crowd with your entry this year.

Whether you’re putting yourself forward for an Image PwC Businesswoman Of The Year Award or nominating your business for another industry gong, most award platforms will ask you to submit a written application explaining why you should win. 

When used in the right way, words can be incredibly compelling and convincing, but without the right skill and expertise, they can easily fall flat, scuppering your chances of scooping an award.  

Want to hone your writing skills and craft an award entry that will really impress the judges? Follow these six tips and get those creative juices flowing.

Check – and double-check – what’s been asked of you

There’s no point rambling on about the humble beginnings of your career or business when you’ve been asked to explain how your brand has benefitted the wider community. Every award platform will have different criteria. Some will want to hear about how you overcame a very specific challenge, others will want to know how your endeavours have improved workplace wellbeing.

Whenever you put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard) ask yourself consistently: Am I answering the question they’ve set out for me? If not, go back, hone your focus, and revise your answers.

Watch out for the word count too! Write too much and you risk the judges losing interest – or worse, being disqualified completely.

Consider outsourcing it

Look, not everyone has a way with words and some people find it tough to sell themselves, no matter how deserving and talented they are. If you tick either of those boxes, it might be a good idea to hand your award entry over to a professional copywriter.

They specialise in creating content that is convincing, compelling, and attention-grabbing, and they might just save you a whole lot of time and stress when it comes to business awards season.

Summarise who you are and what you’ve done first

What makes you extraordinary? Before you begin your first draft, compile a quick bulleted pointed list of all your achievements in your career as a management professional or CEO or as a business owner. Then? Lead with the one that’s most compelling. A truly impressive achievement mentioned right at the start of your application will hook the reader and entice them to keep reading.

To really make your accomplishments jump off the page, explain what they mean to yourself and others. How have they benefited your colleagues, employees, and customers? Have they changed the conversation about a tricky topic, tackled stigma, or helped people in their hour of need? What have they meant for you personally? Let your passion shine through…and linking this back to the specific criteria will elevate it even more.

Gather evidence

Making bold claims without providing the evidence to back them up can come across as bragging, a misdeed that is unlikely to curry favour with the judges. That’s where supporting evidence comes in.

Some entry platforms let you include a supporting document, and others allow you to insert images, videos, and graphs into the body of the text, so if you can back up your claims with a statistic, sales graph, or even a pic that encapsulates your workplace culture, make sure you do!

This won’t just add weight to your claims; it will make your application more memorable too. 

Proofread your way to perfection

Clumsy spelling mistakes and punctuation errors can ruin even the most engaging award entry. If your proofreading skills are a little rusty, use a plugin like Grammarly which will help you spot spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes, or use a Read Aloud function. You’re more likely to notice clunky sentences when they are read aloud.

Keep it clear and concise

Got your first draft down and about to hit ‘submit’? Not so fast. Read your entry one last time, sentence by sentence, word by word. Better yet, get a trusted friend or a professional proofreader to cast an eye over it.

Are any of your sentences convoluted and unclear? Tighten up your writing by switching out ‘wordy’ phrasing with simpler language, if so. Have you been wasteful with your words? Go back and remove any words or qualifiers that don’t add value. The fewer words you use to make your point, the better.

Finally, when you’re happy with your work, hit that ‘send’ button and send your award entry out into the universe. Et voila! Get ready for those industry gongs to start rolling in. 

When & Where

When: Friday, April 14, 2023, from 6:30pm until late

Where: The Clayton, Burlington Road, Dublin 4

Dress Code

Black Tie

Shortlist

The IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year shortlist has been announced! Visit here for the shortlist.

Tickets

How to register: You can purchase a limited number of early bird tickets below:

If you would like to pay via invoice, please email [email protected].

For terms & conditions, please visit here.