A summary of an executive summary

IMG_1863I know that sometimes thumbing through executive reports can be grueling at times. So nevertheless, I have put together a quick 101 on how to create a successful executive summary.

First, when creating an executive summary it is essentials to read the entire original report. But when doing so, keep in mind that you are going to create a summary that your managers will be able to read and understand in a moment’s glance. Start by highlighting the important points for them. I always recommend using a bullet point format followed by an in-depth paragraph summary. Within each of summary I suggest starting the beginning sentence with the topic at hand (in other words, be upfront about what you’re trying to communicate). Your summary should be able to stand on its own without pointing readers to the original document.

Oh, a word of caution … please do NOT change the meaning or interject your opinions into the summary. I have run into this on a few occasions along with people trying to add and/or change the data within the original report. This is not your job. You’re simply giving a synopsis to your team. Nothing more, nothing less.

Finally, be sure to cite all appropriate sources at the end of the document. And, just when you think you’re finished, edit your document. I guarantee someone in the building will be critiquing your writing and the last thing that you’ll want is a few grammatical errors.

Alright, so now your have a quick 101 on how to create an executive summary. Good luck!

– Franny