The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary

The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan?  You know what I am?  I’m a dog chasing cars.  I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just…DO things.” 

 – Joker {The Dark Knight}

He had an option to say this. You don’t.

If you want to be seen as an organized individual in your workplace, I guess this is the first place to start – Get a hold on our 5 tips for writing an Executive Summary for your presentations

An Executive Summary is a  short document or section of a document that summarizes a longer report or proposal or a group of related reports in such a way that readers can rapidly become acquainted with a large body of material without having to read it all.

The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary.

As easy as it may seem, it is not easy to write down a full-fledged Executive Summary.

Here’s a pro tip: Write it last.

Research is only truly valuable when it’s able to inform business decisions and strategies.

Once research is performed, there is work to be done in terms of packaging findings in a way that easily communicates the need for an altered strategy to leadership. The most straightforward way to do this is to create a business plan that includes all of your research, findings, and suggestions. This business plan naturally requires an executive summary.

Crafting the executive summary of your business plan after every other part of the report is best practice. This ensures that you can build out a summary that represents the remainder of the plan as accurately as possible.

The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary

The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary.

1.Background

An executive summary has a set Structure to it, so it easy to understand and grasp. It is very much like an elevator pitch which has to be understood by the receiving executive in a few minutes.  It should have a Background to aid understanding of the Business Case.

2. Actions

An executive summary must have an Approach or a Plan of Actions. Remember, you have to handover intelligence to the executives as part of your document.

3. Facts

An executive summary has Facts & Figures to invoke confidence about the research that has been carried out.

If possible, include charts, graphs, or bullet points in the summary. These can highlight key details so that skim readers do not miss anything important. It also helps to break up the summary into sections with clear headings, which will help readers find information at a glance.

4.Highlights

This is the reason we wrote this article. We say experienced managers miss this trick!! Remember this key trick out of the The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary

An exec summary must have Key Highlights and Advantages of going ahead with the Program.

5.Recommendations

Finally, it must have a Summary of Recommendations and next actions

Remember The 5 Tricks I Missed in Executive Summary for your presentations – Background, Actions, Facts, Highlights and Recommendations. 

Executive Summary is a powerful tool to provide high level intelligence to the senior leaders for being able to quick decisions. Once the Executive Summary is well drafted then the remaining presentations is just supporting material for the presenter. An important aspect is to have an understanding of all the material that your stakeholders will expect from the documentation. 

If you are writing an executive summary for a business report, keep the following in mind:

  1. Make sure your executive summary makes sense by itself, and that it includes all of the key details you need your reader to take away.
  2. Think about who will read the summary and tailor it accordingly.
  3. Make sure it is no more than 10% as long as the overall report.
  4. Use formatting, bullet points, and section headings to boost readability.
  5. Keep the language used simple and avoid jargon wherever possible.

Finally, make sure to get it proofread before you finish. That way, you can be 100% sure it is typo free and ready to use!