Executive summaries rock

I’m in the middle of giving a series of presentation skills classes for a client who is in the process of rolling out a new marketing proposal library.  As part of that roll out, I’ve been tasked with teaching their employees how to structure their proposals better and how to write more effective executive summaries.  In these discussions, we’ve talked about the value of an executive summary and what it can do to greatly enhance your conversations with your clients.

The best executive summaries will lay out the thinking process and logic you employed in the creation of your PowerPoint deck/pack.  It won’t give all of the details that support that thinking, but it will be something that can be a stand alone document.  It should be a one-two page document that lays out your entire logic and can stand alone from the detail in your deck.

They’re useful for:

  • conversations with top level executives or other who don’t have a lot of time for you to get to the point in your communications.  
  • presenting your thinking, recommendations and logic to those who see your document after-the-presentation and don’t have the opportunity to hear your voice-over to your content.
  • sending something ahead of time so your audience has time to reflect on what you want to present and can be more prepared for your conversation.

Your executive summaries should be like a written outline of your document that answers why you’ve included the support pages you have.  They will also help position you as a big thinker.

Happy executive summary writing!

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