Executive Summary Templates

Download these 31+ Free Executive Summary Templates to assist you in preparing your own Executive Summary quickly and comprehensively.

What is an Executive Summary?

In businesses, it’s not uncommon that lengthy reports i.e. quarterly and annually are prepared and the key purpose of these reports and lengthy journals is to provide the information and insights of the business. But it’s not possible for all the high profile or upper-level management to read all the lengthy crap and after spending three to four hours, finally find out the conclusions and the main theme of the report. But these types of top-level employees and CEOs of businesses prefer to read an executive summary. An executive summary is actually an overview of the essence of a long and boring annual report about a project or the overall business.

It’s usually the duty of junior staff to read the entire report prepared by analysts and administrators of the business, understand it and convert it into a much shorter report generally way less than the 3rd part of the whole report. It’s very common that a business or office deals with a number of projects and clients at a time and it’s not possible for the upper-level management and the administration of the company to review all the detailed reports about each client and project. They usually have ten to fifteen minutes for each proposal and this is only possible if the original report is shortened by the assistants and now it’s quicker and easier to read and understand it within minutes.

Benefits of an Executive Summary:

The first and key purpose of preparing an executive summary is that it saves a lot of pricey time of CEOs and directors of a company. This way they don’t need to go through each and every detail of each project and then consider approving or disapproving it. It’s also very common that companies receive new business proposals and ideas on a routine basis but it’s not very professional if the lower management sends that raw information to the upper level without filtering it or verifying if it’s authenticated or just spam. This way the staff can also provide their recommendations about each report or proposal so that it’s easier for the owner or director of a company to decide if he needs to go with the plan or he should deny it without any further process.

 

General Guidelines to prepare an Executive Summary:

  • First of all, you need to understand and keep it in mind that the executive summary is actually a much shorter version of the original report. Here you only add the idea of the points that need to be overview by the higher management.
  • If your company has some guidelines to create these summaries such as; making short but concise paragraphs, it should provide the idea of the original report and the style should be friendly to the reader(s).
  • Provide the real problem in hands or the original present issue. Try to shorten it but make sure that you haven’t missed anything and the reader will understand the entire problem within these few lines.
  • Then provide the solution that you think will work in this situation. Here you should use bullets for each point and separate each factor so that it’s easier to distinguish each scenario for finding the solution.

Executive Summary Format

An executive summary, in simple words is actually a shorter and more brief version of anything related to business either it’s a proposal, annual report, budget allocation plans or even a resume of an applicant. The main theme behind preparing an executive summary is that it’s not possible for the superior decision makers of a company to go through each proposal or report thoroughly without knowing if they need to review it or not.

This way when these high profile employees and CEOs of a company are provided with an executive summary of a report or proposal, they understand the basic idea of the original report and then verify if they need to read the original draft or not. Companies usually have a separate decision making staff that reviews every proposal and report and then decide for the company.

But when this staff has to go through a lot of reports on daily basis, it’s not possible to maintain the vision and interest in the boring process. To eliminate these types of factors, companies prepare executive summaries of business plans and proposals for these executive members so that they can decide in lesser time.

Format Guidelines to create an Executive Summary:

Know your Readers:

When you know who you are going to provide this summary and who will read this, it’s easier to write a powerful document that does affect the audience in a good way.

No need to provide your company history:

There is no need to provide any background or history of your company because most of the customers won’t buy that you are in the business for so long and still struggling to acquire more clients. You won’t have enough time to provide any authenticated proof and without one, you can prove that you company does have a good background. So don’t bother discussing this aspect in the executive summary.

Only add relevant data and elements:

There is no need to provide any thing that is not relevant to the issue in hand. You can’t put anything useless in the summary because it will ruin the essence of this document as it’s supposed to summarize the lengthy reports and proposals not add useless stuff that no one will care to read.

Don’t use the same size for each kind of Executive Summary:

You can’t implement the rules of a particular executive summary on another one because each kind has its own rules and you have to follow them. You can’t use the same formulas for writing a marketing plan summary and an executive resume summary.

Keep it as short as possible:

When we talk about an executive summary, the size is everything and the key ingredient to make this summary effective in the mind of reader; you have to keep it short and concise. There is no need to provide extra or useless information and always stick to the most important and only relevant details. No matter how big the original report is, you should exceed more than two pages while writing the executive summary.

Checkout more free Executive Summary Templates available for immediate download.

 

 

Executive Summary Common Mistakes

Here are the common mistakes that one makes while writing this executive summary:

Thinking that an executive summary is a standard procedure and no one actually cares about it:

It’s a very common assumption of most of the employees that preparing such a summary is a useless process and although the administration has forced the employees to make one, no one cares about what is written in the summary and if it’s useful or not. This is a wrong thinking style and actually ruins the key purpose of an executive summary. The main theme of this summary is to provide an overview of a lengthy report to the CEOs and upper-level management so that they don’t need to go through lengthy paragraphs and dozens of pages in order to find out the conclusion.

Not providing all the necessary information or losing the aim of the main idea:

When a person prepares this summary, the most common mistake he makes is that he often loses the track of what he is writing about and around what this whole report should evolve. This is why when a superior read this kind of summary, he often feels lost in the paragraphs and doesn’t feel that he is going in the right direction. It doesn’t mean that the suggestions are wrong or the person doesn’t know what he is writing in the summary but it simply means that he understands the idea but unable to hand it over to the reader(s).

Not adding the suggestion section at the end of the summary or putting it in between:

The suggestions are recommended by individuals and when a superior is going through such a summary, he doesn’t need those suggestions before he reads the entire summary and makes his own mind about the decision he is going to make. The key purpose of these suggestions is to provide ease to the reader and to authenticate his decision so that when he reads the entire summary and makes his mind, he then reads the suggestions at the end and verifies if he is thinking in the right direction and if the other staff members think in the same way or not.

The report is too long and taking more than enough time to get to the final conclusion:

This is also a very common mistake in the executive summary employees prepare in the offices. The exact idea of making such a summary is to shorten the original report up to 90% which means the summary should contain no more than 10% of the original draft. People make this mistake in order to add everything in the summary without making sure if it’s necessary and the reader will need to read it or to eliminate the factor that something very important is missing.

 

Free Executive Summary Templates (Exclusive)

Checkout following high quality but free Executive Summary Templates available for immediate download.

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Free Executive Summary Templates (Public Domain)

Checkout following high quality but free Executive Summary Templates available for immediate download.

 

Some of these templates are picked from WordTemplates4u.org so credit goes to them.

 

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Looking forward to share related and useful Documents, Templates and Samples for your day to day tasks.

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