How to Write an Executive Summary

What is an Executive Summary?

Both large and small scale construction companies work with executive summaries. An executive summary is a document that summarizes a robust plan in smaller details for easier understanding. These summaries are often included with many other reports. Executive summaries reveal the intended course of action by communicating key points and referencing key data that led to a final decision.

When communicating business plans to individual teams or personnel, project managers may not have the luxury of time to explain the plan in detail. So, therefore, a summary becomes necessary.

Executive Summary components

These are the sequential components an executive summary must follow.

  • A quick explanation showing why the decision was made or why the research was conducted
  • Expected results if the plan is followed through
  • Suggestions detailing how management should execute projects based on the decision made

Writing a good executive summary is by no means an easy task. If you are working on a large project and a lot of variables are in play, it is difficult to know where to start from or how the summary should be structured. But with the tips in this article, you should be able to do it effortlessly.

How to write a very good executive summary

#1. Write the Summary last

It pays to write the summary last after taking other details into consideration. This is because the document should contain every decision, information, and recommendations that are likely made during the course of a meeting. Writing your summary last will ensure that every major detail is captured without leaving anything of value out.

#2. Make it tell a story

Your executive summary should capture the mind of the reader. Make sure it draws the reader in. Be as objective and as direct as possible. Writing overly long sentences should be avoided when writing summaries. Use words that interest the reader and motivates them to read on. Remember, your summary should not reveal everything but should capture only the major key points. The reader can get the full story by reading the report afterward.

#3. Include data

Including data in your summary makes it a lot more authoritative. Cite references and footnotes of other construction projects.

#4. Make sure it is concise

When writing executive summaries, every sentence should take the reader on a journey. Do not write sentences that stand alone but rather, write sentences that link up with successive sentences. The goal is to keep the reader connected as you introduce new information.

#5 Your Beginning is crucial

The introduction of the summary should be your beginning. Make it count by introducing thought-provoking information or statistic to capture the reader’s imagination. If you whip up their interest, they will be all too willing to continue.

#6. Use positive language

Finally, only use positive language. Even if the report contains some uncomfortable information, try to use words that evoke a degree of positivity. Leave the negative details in the report body. Use positive elements in the executive summary. Remember every experience can be a learning experience.

 

With these few tips highlighted in this article, we believe that you should be able to produce a quality executive summary when next you are called upon to write one. Just stick to the script, but avoid revealing too much too soon. Your executive summary should only serve as an introduction to the main report but not the report itself.

Have any tips or advice on writing a good executive summary? Let us know in the comments section below!

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