How to write an executive summary.

Not sure how to sum up your large business document? Learn how to write an executive summary and what information to include for best results.

Business leaders are busy — they like to know what they’re getting into before diving in. An executive summary is a great way to introduce a larger business document that will keep all parties interested and invested.

What is an executive summary?

An executive summary is a brief description (summarization) of a larger business document and it’s usually the very first section of the paper. It can even be a standalone presentation or document you send to interested parties in hopes of encouraging them to take a more in-depth look at the rest of your document. An executive summary can span anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages.

The goal is to summarize each section of the document that follows and provide any key information about the company, project, individual, or department. That way, you can share your executive summary with others to entice them to read the rest of your paper.

When to use an executive summary.

A variety of business documents use executive summaries. Here are just a few of the most common applications:

Or suppose you have a business document that’s several pages long. In that case, it’s not a bad idea to include an executive summary to let interested parties know what the document is about before they take time out of their busy schedules to read it in its entirety.

Sections to include.

Since you can use executive summaries in a wide variety of applications, there’s not always a standard format to follow. Resume executive summaries might have different information than a business proposal executive summary.

Despite the variety, most executive summaries should cover at least a few key components:

Some of these sections might not be relevant to your particular document, so you’re welcome to add or remove sections as needed. Just make sure you do include your paper, proposal, or resume’s essential information.

Make your executive summary presentable.

An executive summary is, in a sense, a kind of presentation. To make it more engaging, many professionals choose to make PowerPoint executive summary presentations. That way, you can formally present the information and increase interest from all parties.

Of course, PPT PowerPoint files aren’t great for sharing. If you need to email or share your executive summary presentation, it’s best to convert your PowerPoint to a PDF first using an online PDF editor like the one found in Adobe Acrobat online. How? Simply follow these three easy steps:

  1. Visit the PDF editor website.
  2. Upload your executive summary PowerPoint.
  3. Download your converted PDF file.

Once downloaded, you can send your PDF executive summary to anyone without worrying about formatting or compatibility issues, no matter which device they use.

Discover what more you can do with Acrobat online services to simplify business document creation and management.