Readers decide in a matter of seconds whether they should keep reading!

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Keep them hooked with a killer executive summary! An executive summary is a short document that summarizes longer reports (such as a full business plan or a project proposal).

What's The Point?

You've spent lots of time thoroughly crafting that proposal, pitch, or report. An executive summary is simply the next step in the process!

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We promise it's worth the effort!

If you're submitting work to decision-makers they may not have time to read the whole document.

This is your elevator-pitch. A chance to:

  • make a good first impression

  • provide them with the highlights

  • demonstrate that you know your stuff

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What Should I Include?

An effective executive summary includes:

  • Objective - what is the problem you're solving or product you're pitching?

  • Target market - who are the stakeholders?

  • Competitive landscape - are there any competitors? How do you stack up?

  • Opportunities - what benefits will your plan bring?

  • Risks - be upfront about foreseeable risks and possible solutions

  • Conclusion - tie up loose ends and end on a positive note

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How Can I Make It Great?

To make your executive summary really shine:

  • Write it last - you're simply boiling down your original document to its most important highlights

  • Hook your reader - start with an interesting statistic or thought-provoking question

  • Make it a stand-alone document - a reader can go to the full document for more details if they wish but they shouldn't be required to

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Quiz

Margie is writing an executive summary for a product proposal. What should she be sure to include?

Details about where each part is sourced

A 2-page interview with a happy customer

A list of vendors who sell the product

All of these

Take Action

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An executive summary will take your next proposal, pitch, or report to the next level! To get started:

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This Byte has been authored by

NB

Natalie Bisset

Director BMO Innovation Fund

DO

David Oh

Recruitment Partner

AB

Aneesa Bacchus

Recruitment Partner

ES

Elodie Sourou

Senior Audit Manager, Learning & Branding

LB

Liz Bozek

Director, Estate Planning

lb

lou bennett

Senior Recruitment Advisor

DM

Danielle Moore

Advisor, Ethics & Conduct Office