How to Ace An Executive Summary | Business Presentations | SlideUpLift

How To Ace An Executive Summary

April 10, 2019| slideuplift
How To Ace 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 Executive Summary to capture the attention of the busy audience by providing the gist of the entire presentation engagingly.

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 summarizes the intent of the entire business presentation 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.

Elements of a great executive summary

The components of an executive summary depend on the objective of the presentation and the expectations of the audience.

An executive summary for a startup should be a lean abbreviated version of a business plan with no extra fat. The goal of the startup executive summary is to get a meeting with venture capitalists however the objective of a great executive summary 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 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 scaleable? 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.

Check out this template here


After dealing with several professional clients, we have found many things to keep in mind while writing an executive summary. 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:

i) List the unique problem you are solving, and the impact your solution has.

ii) Highlight if you have a huge market size, growth opportunity or high potential investor return.

iii) Drop known names in the industry if they have collaborated, invested or endorsed you.

b) Keep it Simple and Short: The executive summary 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 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 template gives a snapshot of strategic initiatives you are proposing in your plan. In a single 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.


Check out this template here

  1. Executive Summary which can be used to showcase business update in the review meetings

The following template 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.


Check out this template here

  1. Executive Summary which can be used to summarize key strategic initiatives

Another example of a template to list key strategic initiatives

Check out this template here

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

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


Check out this template here

  1. Executive Summary which can be used to give an overview of the market in your Business Presentation

This executive summary provides an overview of the market. It could be used to build a business case or not for entering a new market or launching a new product.

Check out this template here

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 raise 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

About SlideUplift:

SlideUpLift was created to serve the presentation needs of business professionals. Professionals across the world are taking advantage of SlideUpLift Templates Library to add amazing visual appeal to their presentations. These templates are 100% editable, instantly downloadable and conceptualized by alumni from premier consulting companies and executed by graphic designers.

Check out our library of Free PowerPoint templates which is weekly updated to serve the presentation needs of professionals. You will find out the simplicity and ease in downloading the editable template, filling it with your content and building world-class presentations in just a few clicks.

Categories: Business PowerPoint Presentations

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