An Executive Summary is a summary of the key items in your planning or other document that is full of facts and information.
The best planning documents, whether strategic plans, business plans, corporate plans, marketing plans, or implementation plans, contain compelling Executive Summaries.
Yet at first glance (or indeed in a badly written Executive Summary) it simply appears as if information has been duplicated. Why can’t the reader simply go into the body of the document to read the information there anyway? The answer is because these documents are meant to be read by busy people. Often, they are to attract investment or engagement from these busy people who would be a befit to your business. They may be investors, bank managers, or even your own busy managers or team members. I order to get past the gate of continuing interest, and to engage them, you need to first draw them in by creating excitement and interest.
The Executive Summary provides that tantalising glimpse into the document – it creates a sense of excitement and gets the document through the gate so that they continue reading the document or pass it on to people who will then go through the document in detail. Business plans written as enticements to invest rarely get past the first executive reading it to see if they will be interested – often because there is no quickly read Executive Summary to entice them in.
This video talks about why you should have an Executive Summary, and what it should contain.
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