Executive Summary

Or They Won’t Read Your Report

Your Executive Summary is arguably the most important section of a document. It gives the reader a quick view of the report, proposal, or strategy. 

In fact, the Executive Summary is your elevator pitch.

People often start with the Executive Summary, so you have to catch their interest quickly. This section determines whether the readers decides to read the rest of the document.

1     Write it last.
       Include the highlights from each section of the report. No new information.

2    Be brief.
       Time is money. One to two pages is the maximum. No one wants to read more than necessary.
       Attention spans have fallen by 50% in the past 10 years, so keep it concise (Gaille 2017).

3    Make it super easy to read.
       No spelling or grammar mistakes. Lots of white space. Short paragraphs. Use subheadings.
       This section (and the whole report) should have a reading level between a grade nine and 12.

What change will you make in your next Executive Summary? Share it below.


Catherine Doucette MEd, CTDP is a Training and Performance Consultant who delivers customized business communication and leadership training and helps businesses grow through strategic planning and problem solving

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