About The Book

WINNER: How to Win Business Awards

Denise O’Leary shares her proven award-winning process, showing you how to find awards to enter, what evidence to gather and techniques for maximum entry standout. The book explains what judges are looking for, how to maximise PR and award-winning tips, so you can celebrate at the winner’s table.

Having won many awards, including Best Business Woman in Marketing, Best Independent Consultant and #GoDo Entrepreneur of the Year, Denise is also a judge for the international Stevie® Awards.


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Many business owners and small businesses dream of the profile they could create and look on in admiration at other award winners.

They wonder how they can achieve that success for themselves and their business.

WINNER – How to Win Business Awards has been written by multi-award winner Denise O’Leary who, as her day job, helps her clients win major bids and pitches. 

Lack of confidence is an often-cited problem for small businesses alongside limited time and resources. They are keen to understand what benefits will be derived from winning awards, based on tips from prior winners and judges and, just as importantly, they also need to know what to avoid.

The process for winning awards is very similar to Denise’s proven formula for winning bids – each award entry needs to be treated as a bespoke marketing campaign.

In easy to understand chapters, the book takes the potential award winner on a journey to success. Starting from “Has My Company Got What It Takes to Win an Award”, right through to “How to

Make Your Entry Stand Out” and ultimately what you can expect from an awards event with the “Tales From the Ceremony.”

We include real life tips from winners and what they have included with their entries in order to get winning appeal. Also important are the hints from awards judges as to what they look for when assessing an entry, what they award points to, and also what they don’t like to see. All stages of the process are explained and then supported with Top Tip graphics to summarise the learning. This is fully reinforced by exercises for the reader to capture key aspects of their business story as they progress, making entry in the future so much easier.

The book has additional insights from a business psychologist on why award entry can provide validation for yourself and your business. He explains the influence of the individual’s attitude to risk, how to exploit the personality traits of a winner, and how the psychological process of entry can improve your attitude toward your business to drive further success.

A summary chapter is also presented at the end of the book. It acts as a practical reminder when the reader is in the actual entry process, covering all of the elements to be considered.

The content of this book is designed for universal appeal and application for business awards, as well as grant applications and bids. All the useful advice is in one place and designed for reference regardless of the type of award you want to win.

The learning is reinforced with key exercises to get the reader to consider how they apply the process to their own business. It is completed as they progress building the story of their business to aid in future entry completion.

Case studies are included in the way of tips from past winners, judges, and those who actually run awards. These insightful stories bring the awards journey to life and present real-life proven examples of what to include to make your entry a winner.

Is it time for your business to receive some recognition?

Do you want to win awards and promote your business?


The World of Business Awards 15
Has My Company Got What It Takes To Win An Award?19
Isn’t It Just the Big Companies That Win Awards?21
Visualise – Why Do You Want to Win?22
There Is an Award for You26
Why Should You Enter Awards?27
Business Psychology Related to Award Entry by Jan de Jonge34
What Are the Best Awards to Enter?44
How to Find the Right Awards for Your Business46
Insight From Previous Award Winners53
Be Aware – Not All Awards Are Created Equal56
Finding Awards To Enter61
Develop a Process65
Create an Awards Calendar67
Previous Winners Identify the Benefit67
Gathering Evidence Before Writing the Award71
Focus on Tailoring Your Entries78
Writing Skills84
Your Entry Is A Marketing Campaign93
Spell Out the Benefits You Deliver95
The 5 Ws of Winning99
Offline Then Online101
How to Make Your Entry Stand Out106
What Extra Supporting Documents Should I Include?111
Insights from Award Entrant, Judge and Organiser – Tony Robinson OBE114
Busting the Myths Around Award Entry by Gavan Wall117
Understanding The Judges’ Needs123
Make It Simple for the Judges126
Make Sure You Include Everything That Is Requested Of You128
What Are The Judges Looking For?129
Insight From the Judges132
Maximise Your Chances Of Winning139
The Importance of Proofreading143
What to Do If You Don’t Get to the Finals145
Attending the Awards146
What to Do If You Don’t Win147
ROAR – What To Do When You Win157
The PR Benefits of Entering an Award by Fiona Scott171
A Final Word – Is It Worth It?.178
Tales From the Ceremony186
Summary Of Learning On How To Win Awards197
Need More Help?203
Contact Details204
About The Author205

© 2024 Denise O'Leary

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