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7 Ways to Make Your Executive Summary More Compelling

An Executive Summary is an non-technical introduction that provides a quick overview of the document on which it is based.

Its purpose is to consolidate the principal points of a document in one place.

After reading it, your readers should understand the main points you are making without having to read every page of your document.

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Tips When Writing an Executive Summary

Some guidelines for writing executive summaries:

  1. Rationale — explain why you wrote the report

  2. Emphasize your conclusions or recommendation — Include only the most significant information to support your conclusions

  3. Write the executive summary after you have completed the report.

  4. Brevity — Keep it concise. Remove extraneous information.

  5. Ask a ‘neutral’ person to read the executive summary and discuss what they’ve read.

  6. Length — keep within 1-2 pages.

  7. Spell-check and proofread — avoid spellchecker as they will not catch wrong spellings that have slipped through, for example, amy instead of may.

Remember: think of your Executive Summary as a standalone document; it should be independent of the main report or proposal you're writing.

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