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What is an Executive Summary?
Companies and businesses receive reports and new project proposals on regular basis but that doesn’t means that the superiors approve all of them or deny each one of them. But, they go through each of them to make sure they have approved the right proposal and rejected only the wrong options. But the thing is that this type of high-profile decision is only made by the high-level management which goes through dozens of such proposals and reports regularly so they simply can’t waste their time reading or considering a proposal that is not appropriate according to their situation or they don’t have enough budget to support this expense. To make sure that they are going to spend their precious time only on the related and important issues, they are first provided with an executive summary of the issue in their hands. This executive summary is a shortened version of the original report or proposal which gives the key idea to the reader about the main theme of the lengthy report.
Writing a General Executive Summary:
Begin with the original document by reading it entirely:
The main idea of preparing such a summary is to provide the essence of the lengthy report in fewer words and short paragraphs. To do so, you need to start by reading the entire original proposal or the report and going through each line it includes. This is the only way you can understand the key purpose of this report and the idea behind writing it. You simply can’t shorten the lengthy report if you don’t even know what is important to add in the summary and what needs to be skipped.
Write your version of the report or proposal:
Here at this point, once you have understood the entire report, you need to shorten it up to 50% and write it in your own words. Then make sure that you can easily understand it and that nothing is missing or you haven’t forgotten anything important to add. Once you are done, now you can again read your report and analyze which parts can be shortened further into much smaller pieces and what’s very important to add as it is. This way it’s easier for you to shorten the report up to 90% of the original size.
Define the big problem or the main issue in hands at the start of the summary:
Here you need to provide the big issue at the start of the summary so that the reader grabs the main idea before even going through the entire summary and realizing at the end that he has wasted his time and this particular summary doesn’t belong to his department. Once you have defined the real problem or essence of the proposal at the start, the reader can understand the summary much quicker and comparatively in a better manner.
Provide necessary solutions, suggestions, or recommendations at the end:
Once the reader has read the entire summary and has made up his mind about what steps he is going to take or what kind of decision he is about to make, you need to provide your point of view about the proposal or summary. Here you include your suggestions or recommendations about solving a problem, adopting a new strategy for business, or accepting a project proposal. This way you concrete the decision of the reader by making him realize that he is thinking in the right pattern and the decision he has decided to make is correct.
Free Executive Summary Templates
Here is the Executive Summary Template to assist you in preparing your Executive Summary quickly.
Importance of Executive Summary
The executive summary is written to persuade sales pitch because it can provide ide complete picture of any proposal or report to the reader. It is usually written for nontechnical people who do not have time to the end complete the repose executive time summary and contains enough information for a reader to get familiarized with the contents of the full report without reading. A successful executive summary can lead you toward lots of positive opportunities. It is the best way to make your business proposal successful because the executive summary will save the time of the reader and increase his/her level of understanding executive time summary should be concise but packed with necessary information. It is necessary to use all important content to inspire the reader to carefully select the information for the executive summary. Here is a professional Executive Summary Template that can help any manager or supervisor to create comprehensive Executive Summaries quickly,
Executive Summary Writing Tips & Guidelines
The executive summary is an important part of your business report or proposal and it is essential to write it carefully. To help you, I am going to share some tips to write an effective executive summary:
- Executive summary is important to write for all those business reports that exceed four pages. Start writing the executive summary after writing the main report and make sure to keep it concise to 1/10th of the total length of the main report.
- Executive summary should contain all those details that you want to convey to your reader(s). It should cover all important details that are available in the body of your document. Try to include all those details that can grab the attention of your reader.
- Write simple, persuasive, and declarative sentences while considering S.P.A rules such as:
- State your benefits but acknowledge the needs of your customers also to grab their attention.
- Prove your statement with different references such as giving examples of past performances, clients, writing papers, case studies, achievements, etc.
- Apply your benefits to your clients by presenting the real value of your proposal not only for customers but for the entire organization. You can use representation such as numbers, percentages, references, facts, and studies instead of marketing puffery or commercial fluff.
- It is time to ask your customer for action to clarify your statement. Use action words in your statement to show the path of illumination to your customer. Answer all who, what, when, where, and how to make your executive summary useful.
- Keep your executive summary as simple as possible to increase the readability and understanding of your proposal. Make sure to remove all possible barriers that can hamper your reader from understanding your point of view.
- Proofread the executive summary more than twice to correct, edit or revise all possible errors because these errors can spoil your all efforts. If you are expecting any legal complications then consult your lawyer before finalizing your executive summary.