How to write an Executive Summary FAST?

How to write an Executive Summary FAST?

There can be many reasons why you need to get an executive summary in a very short time. You may want to close a sale or give an important report to your boss. The important thing here is that an executive summary can provide a definitive result.

Despite the short time available, it is possible to produce a high-level executive summary. Without a doubt, this will allow you to optimize the results that can be obtained in each situation. That is why we provide below a complete list of aspects that should not be missing from a good executive summary. This guide will teach you how to write effectively and how to write an executive summary fast.

This will make it easier to convey a set of ideas to the audience in question. In addition, we will also be able to deploy the appropriate argumentation to achieve the best results.

Parts of an Executive Summary Report

Parts of an executive summary report infographic

1. Introduction

Capturing the audience’s attention is the main objective of the introduction. In fact, the first line should have a subtle and efficient appeal. There is no point in an introduction that bores the audience, but ideally, it should spark interest.

In particular, the introduction needs to be clear, concise, and to get to the point. In addition, it is important to include a brief presentation of the person writing, as well as the organization to which he or she belongs. Along with this, additional information should be added such as personal skills, experience in the area, and the specific problem of the abstract.

Additionally, a small table or index of contents to be addressed can be incorporated. In this way, a brief but useful context can be obtained in which to find the executive summary. By including these aspects, the audience will be ready to hear the rest of the summary.

2. Context

One of the most important parts before addressing the core of the executive summary is the context. The context, which can be made up of background, will allow the audience to position themselves in time and space. In particular, this means that it provides a more complex understanding of the main topic.

The important thing here is to mention the most important aspects or features that relate to the main topic. Thus, it is necessary to incorporate those sub-themes that are necessarily interrelated with the main problem. In addition, by placing the appropriate context, it is then possible to optimize the importance of the executive summary.

On the other hand, the right context allows the audience to better understand the current problem. Along with this, it is possible to understand how this main problem or issue has been arrived at.

3. Main Problem

This point is the core and main reason for the executive summary. In this case, it is important to develop both the problem and its importance within the context of the company. Thus, the essential thing is to clearly explain not only the problem but also its possible consequences in the short, medium, or long term.

In addition, it is necessary to incorporate the appropriate premises to convince the reading audience. Therefore, both the problem and its importance must have the necessary logic to do so.

4. Proposed Solution

An executive summary is incomplete if it does not incorporate a possible solution to the main problem. Otherwise, not including this point means a lack of professionalism. However, this is not always a specific problem. Therefore, when it comes to a need, it is possible to include the main findings.

In this way, the abstract writer will be committed to the main issue or problem. It also means that the topic is understood and can be dealt with. Along with this, it is advisable to develop the importance of the proposed solution. In particular, this is the time to encourage one’s own ideas about a certain topic.

5. Solution Process

Since we have proposed a solution to the main problem, we must develop the procedure. It can be very simple to propose a large number of solutions. However, we must ensure that they are feasible solutions for the company in question. Otherwise, the lack of information from the summary writer can be exposed.

So, the solution procedure must incorporate the company and its own processes. This is also an excellent opportunity to provide a consistent justification. In other words, this means convincing the audience that this is the optimal solution above all others.  

6. Conclusion

The point of the conclusion has a certain importance for an executive summary. In particular, it is the last words that the audience in question will hear or read. It is therefore necessary to make a brief summary of the executive summary.

Along with this and in a few words, the importance of both the problem and the solution should be mentioned. To do this, you must choose words that are decisive, solid, clear, and concise. Therefore, a good conclusion manages to leave the audience thinking.

How to write an executive summary fast?

1. Define the purpose

It is important that there is no vagueness in an executive summary. The purpose must be clearly defined on each side of the summary. Therefore, the different aspects of the main problem or need should be included briefly but completely.

In this way, it is possible to get an understanding of the main core of the summary. This is why it is also necessary to avoid incorporating additional secondary components. Of course, it would be relevant if it were a complete report. On the contrary, since it is a summary, then the additional components will only distract the attention of the audience.

2. Don’t stray from the topic

In relation to the above, we can mention that it is not advisable to leave the main subject. In fact, this is a fairly common mistake in many beginner’s executive summaries. Contrary to what many people think, this is not about demonstrating a certain level of expertise.

So again, we must mention that an executive summary should focus only on the main topic. This way the audience will not need to divert their attention to other secondary and unimportant aspects. In addition, a certain amount of words is wasted, which can well be used in the problem or the proposed solution.

3. Create a rough draft (Outline)

Making a draft is an excellent technique for detecting the main errors in the summary. When we finish writing a draft, then we will have the opportunity to improve the final version. After a few minutes or hours, we can read the draft again in its entirety.

It is at this point that we can detect the errors or weaknesses in our abstract. In addition, it is always possible to find a better way to convey a certain idea.

Especially when it comes to an important point, such as the problem or the solution, the draft is important. Improving one of these two aspects of the abstract can give us better results from the audience.

4. Consider working with professionals

When writing an executive summary, we cannot always handle the main subject as experts. In these cases, it is possible to consider the help of professionals in the area in question. In this way, we can avoid certain errors of which we may not be aware of.

In fact, when we try to develop a topic that we do not know about, we could easily be affirming a misconception. That is why the help of a professional provides us with the ability to optimize the approach of the summary. In addition, we will be incorporating a higher level of the final quality of the executive summary.

5. Get a second pair of eyes

Getting a second pair of eyes allows us to get more error detection. It’s quite common that we don’t get to see the mistakes or confusion we’ve made in the summary. That is why reading a colleague will allow us to get an honest first opinion.

In turn, this opinion will allow us to optimize the weaknesses of our executive summary. In this way, we will be able to provide a more complete, accurate, and professional executive summary. Of course, it is important that the second pair of eyes is a professional person from the same area.

6. Use appropriate language

It may be an obvious point until you need to start writing an executive summary. It is important to incorporate the language that best suits the audience in question. To do this we must know as much as possible about the characteristics of the audience.

In this way, it is possible to get an executive summary that they can understand and appreciate. In this case, it may mean applying special, technical language. However, the audience may not have the appropriate knowledge to understand a certain technical language. So, in this case, the most appropriate language should include a few technical words.

Executive Summary Example: Google

In example 1 we can notice that the main purpose is present, in combination with some background. This allows for a better understanding of the importance of the main theme. In the same way, it is possible to know who the main actors of the issue are.

As the next aspect, it is possible to understand what is the main issue raised in this summary. However, this same problem lacks a more complex explanation. For this reason, it is not necessary to incorporate extensive lines on this subject. On the contrary, it would only be necessary to add two or three sentences that expand the consequences of the main program.

In the same vein, the proposed solution is too short or too narrow. It would, therefore, be necessary and useful to give a fuller explanation of the implications of the solution. In turn, both the proposed solution and the conclusion are combined. This does not provide an appropriate summary of the ideas.

In addition, the specific procedure of the solution has been omitted. In fact, since this is a report in the field of information technology, it is possible to outline a procedure for this. So, by adding this point, then the summary would have a higher level of importance than the current one.

Executive Summary Example: Disney

In this case, we can detect a more complete executive summary, and with a higher level of professionalism. To do this, comment very briefly and concisely on the main subject that the entire executive summary will cover. In this case, this manages to be combined in a subtle and correct way with the closest background.

In addition, the creator manages to focus specifically only on the background related to the main topic. Thus, this allows for a more complex understanding of the main topic without diverting the audience’s attention.

As a next step, the creator provides a broader context about the specific actions the company has taken. Combined with this is the analytical methodology used in the report. This results in a complete understanding of the present situation the company is going through.

Finally, we can analyze one of the recommendations provided by the creator. In fact, not only is the first possible solution provided, but also the specific way to apply it. This allows us to offer a higher level of professionalism represented by the creator of the summary.

In turn, the ideas of the solution become more important for the audience. In addition, since several recommendations are included, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in the topic by choosing an option.

Executive summary template

Who are you and where do you come from?

This includes an introduction to the creator as well as the company or organization to which he or she belongs. In case it is a summary addressed to your own company, then the department or area to which the creator belongs should be mentioned.

What is your main mission or vision?

Beyond the main problem, it is necessary to mention in one or two lines what is the vision you want to achieve. It should be brief since the main issue should not include the vision or mission.

What is the main problem or theme?

Here it should be mentioned in a few words what the main theme of the summary is. However, it should not be developed as the background should be mentioned first.

What is the background or context?

The context or background is useful for the audience to gain a more complex understanding. This way the audience can get involved in knowing what you are talking about. It also allows them to understand how the main problem was arrived at.

What is the importance or consequences of the main problem?

At this point, it is possible to develop the main problem of the executive summary. In addition, it should be added very briefly what the consequences or importance of the whole issue are.

What is the best solution for this?

By answering this question, the creator can provide his or her own ideas for the company or organization. In fact, it is the best time to make known the true potential within the company of the creator of the abstract.

What is the best way to implement such a solution?

The next step should be to comment very briefly on the best way to implement the proposed solution. In other words, a summary of the procedure needed to reach the solution should be mentioned. In this way, the attention of the audience is much better captured.

What is the most important conclusion of the whole topic?

The conclusion is another title that takes on great relevance. In particular, it is the last words that the audience in question will read. Since they are the last words, it is the best thing that each member of the audience will retain in their minds. Therefore, the conclusion must be firm, sure, clear, and concise.

Conclusion: Writing an executive summary fast is not that hard

Making a good executive summary is not too difficult when you have the necessary steps in place. It is also possible to do a quick job when you know the most important aspects. In particular, it is a way to convey a set of ideas about a situation.

A certain amount of experience is required to obtain high-level results. However, you can achieve excellent results when you get the attention of the audience.

Once this step has been achieved, you need to explain the main reason and its importance. Finally, don’t waste the opportunity to let the audience know your ideas and solutions. This is certainly an excellent time to demonstrate your skills and capabilities.

Karolina L.

"Here to create great work that works great."

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