How To Ace An Executive Summary

April 10, 2019| slideuplift
What is an Executive Summary and How To Ace An Executive Summary

What is an Executive Summary?

Nowadays, it is becoming challenging to grab the attention of business executives. With jam-packed schedules, quick decisions to make, and not much time to spare, the executives are always looking for value for their time. Hence the need for the Executive Summary to capture the attention of the busy audience by providing the gist of the entire presentation engagingly.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

What is an Executive Summary?

An executive summary is a vital part of any business presentation. In the broader sense, the executive summary is the brief that precedes a more extended report or presentation and outlines the essence of the entire report.

In business environments, an executive summary presentation summarizes the intent of the entire business deck in a concise form.

The purpose of an executive summary is to pique the reader’s curiosity by presenting facts from the larger piece of content. A robust executive summary creates value for the reader as a first impression and generates interest in viewing the rest of the content.

Best practices on how to write an Executive Summary 

After dealing with several professional clients, we have found many things to keep in mind while writing an executive summary format. These tips will help you build a winning executive summary.

a) Begin with a bang: The opening statement of your executive summary needs to be effective. Use the most differentiating plus point of your company and present it as the lead sentence. A few examples:

  1. List the unique problem you are solving, and the impact your solution has.
  2. Highlight if you have a huge market size, growth opportunity, or high potential investor return.
  3. Drop known names in the industry if they have collaborated, invested, or endorsed you.

b) Keep it Simple and Short: The executive summary slides should only be 5% – 10% of the length of the entire presentation. Putting too many details in the executive summary is contradicting to its purpose. Make the executive summary focused and simple, by using short paragraphs or bullets, and subheadings.

c) Placement of the Summary: The executive summary slide should be the last thing you should write when making the presentation. With every revision, the summary needs an update. However, it should be placed right after the table of contents, and before the introduction of the presentation so that the audience knows what to expect.

d) The Interest of the Audience: Do your research and consider the mindset of your audience. Tailor the summary to intrigue them with your study and proposal, convincing them to invest more effort in your presentation, and read further.

Examples of Executive Summary for different business scenarios:

SlideUpLift has an extensive collection of slide templates to whip up a compelling executive summary instantly. The templates cater to building an executive summary for different types of business presentations. Below are a few examples:

1. Executive Summary which can be used to showcase key initiatives in your strategy presentations.

This executive summary template gives a snapshot of the strategic initiatives you are proposing in your plan. In a single executive summary slide, you can convey the current facts about the market, market trends, key milestones you wish to achieve, and further how you plan to reach those milestones through your initiatives.

Executive Summary PPT

Executive Summary PPT

Source: Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

Executive Summary Template

Executive Summary Template

Source: Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

The template is perfect to showcase your executive in one single slide. The effective use of icons and shapes makes this template a good executive summary template.

2. Executive Summary which can be used to showcase your company capabilities in Business Proposal

This executive summary example gives a snapshot of the size and expertise of your organization, conveying how you are qualified to take on the prospective client’s business.

Proposal Executive Summary Powerpoint

Proposal Executive Summary PowerPoint

Source: Executive Summary Sample For Proposal by SlideUpLift

An effective executive summary design that showcases all important aspects can increase your chances to impress your client or prospect.

3. Executive Summary which can be used to summarize your customer profile and his journey

This Executive Summary template showcases a customer’s journey with a brand, company, or organization using creative infographics. This framework allows the brands to summarize factors such as – a customer’s tenure, activity status, demographics, and customer spread across the world.

Customer Journey Executive Summary

Customer Journey Executive Summary

Source: Customer Journey Map by SlideUpLift

Using an Executive Summary Template to exhibit a customer’s journey, brands can improve their sales efficiency.

4. Executive Summary which can be used to showcase business updates in the review meetings

The following executive summary PowerPoint summarizes the major points an executive needs to know for a business review. The slide covers, key milestones, market share and growth, product profile, company strategy, revenue, and profit, all in a structured way.

Business Review Presentation

Business Review Presentation

Source: Business Review Presentation by SlideUpLift

5. Executive Summary which can be used to summarize your project update

This Executive Summary is used to outline a project plan in a business presentation. Using this template, you can give a quick overview of a project plan with a focus on Team Members, key highlights, and the background of the project. This framework also allows you to compare actions taken and measure the results of a project plan.

Project Status Summary presentation

Project Status Summary presentation

Source: Project Status Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

6. Executive Summary which can be used to summarize your project launch

This Executive Summary Template allows you to give a quick overview of the context of your project planning.

Project Planning Presentation

Project Planning Presentation

Source: Project Planning by SlideUpLift

7.  Executive Summary which can be used to summarize your Sales Presentation.

Sales Executive Summary Template

Sales Executive Summary Template

Source: Sales Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

8. Executive Summary which can help summarize financials in your presentation.

Finance Executive Summary Template

Finance Executive Summary Template

Source: Finance Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

9. Executive Summary which can help you highlight your career experiences and achievements and allows you to showcase the reasons that make you a suitable candidate. 

Resume Executive Summary Templates

Resume Executive Summary Templates

Source: Resume Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

A few other examples of Executive Summary Templates

Now that we know what is an executive summary. Learn the tips on how to write an effective Executive Summary:

Elements of an executive summary depend upon the objective of the presentation and the expectations of the audience.

An executive summary example for a startup should be a lean abbreviated version of a business plan with no extra fat. The goal of the startup executive summary presentation is to get a meeting with venture capitalists however the objective of a great executive summary format for business proposal may include company profile, existing client information, rich media like charts, graphs, images, projections, and more to keep the readers hooked.

Let’s look at the example of building an executive summary slide for a startup

a. The Punch Statement

The first statement or paragraph should make your audience stop everything else and focus on you. Lead with the most convincing statement and tell why your idea is huge and worthy of your audience’s time. If possible, throw in names that impress the room, like world-class advisors, famous companies you are already working with, or renowned investors you have.

b. The Problem

Emphasize how the problem you aim to solve is big and impacts a large demographic.

c. The Solution

What specifically are you offering to whom? Software, hardware, service, combination? Use commonly used terms to state concretely what you have, or what you do, that solves the problem you’ve identified.

d. The Opportunity

Briefly describe your target customer, size of the market, growth opportunities, market dynamics, and plan for the market.

e. Your competitive advantage

Describe the competitive position of your company over your competitors, the possible opportunities in the future, plans for growth, and overcoming possible competitor threats

f. The Business Model

How specifically are you going to generate revenues, and from whom? Why is your model leverageable and scalable? Why will it be capital efficient?

g. The Team

Why is your team uniquely qualified to win? Don’t just add a shortened form of each founder’s resume; explain why the background of each team member fits.

h. Financials

Detail the exact amount you want to raise, and the key areas where you will invest the funds. Use this section to highlight the growth and add perspective for the reader by showing relevant numbers.

StartUp Executive Summary Example

StartUp Executive Summary Example

Source: Startup Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

Free Executive Summary Template

Free Executive Summary Template

Free Executive Summary Template

Source: Free Executive Summary by SlideUpLift

Conclusion:

In short, having a good executive summary is crucial to capturing the attention and excitement of your audience. An effective executive summary captures the core message of your presentation and successfully raises your audience’s intrigue to read further in your presentation.

Build an excellent executive summary to convey to the business executives how you value their time and are worthy of the same, increasing the likelihood of the success of your business presentation. Get ideas from 100+ creative ways of building executive summaries from SlideUpLift Library. Check out the complete collection here.

Now you don’t have to scour the web to find out the right templates. Download our PowerPoint Templates from within PowerPoint. See how?

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Categories: blog, Tips on Business Presentations

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