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An executive summary should be clear and concise (typically one to two pages long) and present the main points in a formal tone.The purpose of an executive summary is to pique the reader’s curiosity by presenting facts from the larger piece of content it is summarizing.For example, a business plan for an external audience includes financial information and details on the size and scale of a company; startups seeking funding and investors will highlight specific financial requirements and how they impact the business strategy.
The executive summary can be either a portion of a business document (a business plan, project proposal, or report) or long articles and documents common in research-driven communities and academia.
When crafted correctly, the executive summary provides an overview of the information and objectives in the larger document.
In this article, you’ll find information on how to write an executive summary that wins the proposal, spurs change, or lands the meeting with investors.
Learn how to compose the executive summary for a variety of purposes, including how to use the summary to seek funding.
Use the conclusion to recap your findings, make recommendations, and propose solutions to the problem.
If there is a decision you want the reader to make, ask make a call to action in this section.Various industries use executive summaries as a communication tool, including healthcare, education, government, technology, real estate, finance, law, the nonprofit sector, and more.One of the benefits of using an executive summary is that it is not exclusive to one type of communication.The Information Age changed how business plans, project proposals, and research reports are dispersed and consumed: Today, more and more readers view this content the same way they do news and entertainment — on a digital screen.This method of content consumption increases the risk that important information gets lost to the scanning and scrolling behavior of an online audience.If you are summarizing a research report, summarize the findings and the research methods used to conclude the work.Make the outcomes or recommendations visible, but leave enough out to incentivize the audience to continue reading.Here are some formatting tips that you can use for any executive summary, regardless of the style: This template is designed to fit your executive summary on one page.Take advantage of the short sections and bullet points to keep the document concise and hook the reader with the information that will keep them reading.Craft an organized, well written executive summary the next time you have to gain the attention of a time-strapped audience.Turn passive scanning to active engagement by briefly and strategically telling the reader what they need to know about the rest of your content.