When writing your executive summary, ask yourself in those who read the summary will be those who will read the entire report.
If you are dealing with two different groups of people, you will have to decide how much technical detail to include in the summary.
You might have three types of readers:
- Those who want a full picture but will not check the details.
- Those who read everything, data and appendices included.
- Those who are in executive positions, wish to be kept informed on what is going on in the company, and will say yes or no to a project.
You will only include the main ideas, facts, and the necessary background to understand the problem, the alternatives, and the major conclusions.
Brevity and conciseness are the keys to a well-written summary.
Do not take a few sentences from key sections of the document.
Rather, go over the entire document and make notes of what you consider important.
From your notes, create a rough draft of the summary.
Then, polish what you have written until it is smooth and seamless without unnecessary wordiness.
Ensure that you executive summary is accurate and representative of your full document.
It should not be misleading, but it should give readers the same impression as if they had read the entire report.