Top 10 tips to compiling an award winning entry
With awards season upon us, here's how you can be among the winners
Check out these top tips for nominations which are sure to win you points with the judges
1. Utilise your word count effectively.
Ensure you stick to the word count outlined. Judges want a “to-the-point” description so choose your words carefully. At the same time, don’t write too little - they need enough information to be able to make a decision.
2. Use bullet points to avoid waffling
Bullet points can be a great way of displaying information in a clear, concise way and can help you make sure you stick to the topic by making you aware of repetition.
3. Answer the question.
Put yourself in the shoes of a judge; they will be looking through hundreds of entries and scoring against the criteria. Base your entry on the questions given in the criteria. Read the question carefully and keep referring back to it in your answer. It’s your opportunity to sell yourself/ your company so think - why does the nominee deserve to win an award? How has the nominee inspired others through their work activity?
4. Ask a writer to write
The submission needs to be able to sell itself because no-one is physically there to present it to the judges. Ask the communications’ specialists in your organisation to write and proof the nomination.
5. Explain, explain, explain
Saying “the nominee is great” is not enough. Explain WHY the nominee is great. It’s the little details that can bump up your score.
6. Tell a story
Businesses and individuals with compelling stories are often seen very favorably by judges; look for a factual, yet engaging angle to present your nominee.
7. Avoid empty quotes
Don’t include a quote from a co-worker unless it really adds something to the nomination, and use them sparingly. The entire nomination is a testament to your nominee so you don’t need a lot of quotes.
• Bad example: “Everyone loves working with Sally! She’s so great!”
• Good example: “Sally single-handedly overhauled our schedule to increase employee satisfaction and maintain quality. Her dedication is an inspiration to the entire unit.”
8. Spell check
Don’t submit a nomination with spelling and grammar errors – It raises doubts in the reader’s mind about what other information about the nominee is incorrect. Spelling and basic grammar mistakes, even though not officially part of the criteria, reduce confidence in the reader. Double-check spelling and then check again!
9. Start early
You cannot construct a well-written, inspirational nomination in one day. Think like a marathon runner and break down your training.
• Week 1: Review nomination and supplement materials (i.e. this tip sheet) and put out a call to senior level management/appropriate staff for potential nominees if you are selecting individuals from an organisation.
• Weeks 2-3: Review and process the suggestions that have come in.
• Week 4: Engage senior leadership to select one nominee.
• Week 5: Interview nominee’s supervisors, co-workers and others for important details.
• Weeks 6-7: Write the nomination.
• Week 8: Proof, proof, proof again.
10. Submit by closing date
It may seem obvious, but things cropping up at the last minute can often mean submissions get forgotten. Note down the submission dates on calendars, in diaries and set alerts on your system. Late entries do not go down well and often mean lost brownie points with the judges!