Readers decide in a matter of seconds whether they should keep reading!
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!
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
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
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
Margie is writing an executive summary for a product proposal. What should she be sure to include?
A list of vendors who sell the product
A 2-page interview with a happy customer
Details about where each part is sourced
All of these
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
Director BMO Innovation Fund
Senior Audit Manager, Learning & Branding
Director, Estate Planning
Senior Recruitment Advisor
Advisor, Ethics & Conduct Office