Submitting for prestigious awards is an excellent way to gain recognition and raise your profile. However, with so many talented people and businesses vying for the same accolades, crafting a compelling and persuasive entry is crucial. In this article, I share seven tips and strategies to help you create the perfect award submission.

1. Choose the Right Award

This is my #1 tip for a reason.  Take the time upfront to research and identify the most suitable awards and categories for your accomplishments. Consider the award’s focus, eligibility criteria, and prestige within your industry or field. Ask yourself:  “What do I want to be known for?”  Applying for awards that are well-aligned with your work and achievements increases your chances of standing out and being recognised.

2. Understand the Criteria and Requirements

Before you begin writing, thoroughly review the award criteria, guidelines, and submission requirements. Understand what the judges are looking for, and tailor your submission accordingly. This includes answering each part of the question, which may be made up of multiple sub-questions.  Pay close attention to word counts, formatting guidelines, and deadlines to ensure your submission meets all the necessary specifications.   It’s also important to match your writing to the awards period, most of which will be past tense.

3. Tell a Compelling Story

Effective award submissions are more than just a list of accomplishments; they tell a captivating story that engages the judges emotionally as well as technically ticking their judging scorecards. Use vivid, active language and specific examples to bring your story to life and make it memorable.

Remember that the judges are human, and they’re likely reviewing numerous submissions. Craft your writing in a way that engages and inspires them. Use compelling anecdotes, and thought-provoking insights to capture their attention and leave a lasting impression.

4. Quantify Your Achievements

While storytelling is essential, it’s equally important to back up your claims with tangible evidence and measurable results. Quantify your achievements whenever possible by providing concrete data, statistics, and metrics that demonstrate the scale and significance of your work. This numerical evidence lends credibility and weight to your submission and is one of the biggest things I see missing in entries.  And remember, you get to choose which metrics you put in, so you can choose the most compelling statistics available.

5. Highlight Your Uniqueness

Throughout your submission, emphasise what makes you or your work unique, innovative, and groundbreaking. Highlight any pioneering techniques, novel approaches, or exceptional accomplishments that set you apart from your peers.  A good tip to approach this, once you’ve written your submission, is to read your entry back and ask yourself, is each initiative a genuine point of difference?

6. Provide Supporting Materials

Many award submissions allow or even require supporting materials such as testimonials, press clippings, or multimedia content. Choose these supplementary materials carefully to reinforce and strengthen your narrative. Ensure they are relevant, high-quality, and aligned with the award criteria, and reference them in your written submission by adding “(see attachment)” to guide the judges as to each attachment’s relevance.

7. Proofread and Edit

Finally, one point can separate winners.  Before submitting your award entry, proofread and edit your work meticulously. Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors, and that your submission flows logically and coherently. Always have someone else review your submission to catch any mistakes or areas for improvement.

By following these top tips, you’ll increase your chances of crafting a standout award submission that resonates with the judges and showcases your exceptional achievements. Remember, the key is to tell a compelling story, provide tangible evidence, and highlight what makes you truly unique and deserving of recognition.

Like some help with crafting an amazing Award entry?

If you’re not confident that you can create a compelling entry, or you don’t have the time to devote to it, we would be delighted to help. With more than 700 client wins under our belt – we know exactly what it takes to craft an awards submission that meets the criteria and stands out.  See full details of our Awards Submission Writing Service

This article was also published in FBAA Broker Magazine: