Lawpath Blog
How to Write a Good Executive Summary

How to Write a Good Executive Summary

Writing a good executive summary can help your clients and employees understand the major components of your business reports. Find out how to do that here.

15th April 2019

You will often have to write executive summaries when preparing reports for your business or for clients. They are also valuable for when you are writing a business plan. While your entire report is important, it is essential that you can provide a quick overview of its main features. This will allow people to be able to quickly comprehend and understand your report, if they do not have time to read the whole report. Read on to find out our top tips on how to write a good executive summary.

Identify Your Subject Matter

Make sure the very first component of your executive summary is the subject matter of your report. This will provide your audience with context for your report and allow them to determine the relevance of your reports for their needs. Furthermore, you should make sure you include the overall scope and objectives of the report so your audience can understand what has influenced the creation of your report.

What Findings Did You Make?

This part of your executive summary, should provide a surface level overview of your findings. Try not to get too data heavy as you are just providing a summary. You should leave the actual figures and other data in the main section of your report. Crucially in your executive summary, you are trying to help your audience understand the essence of your report.

Include Your Recommendations

This may seem a little obvious, but make sure you include your recommendations that should be undertaken. While it is important to find the problem, it is more important for you to be able to display that you have a solution to the problem that your business is facing. It is also important for you to include any limitations of your findings or any assumptions that you make, so your audience can understand your recommendations in your executive summary. A business lawyer can help if you want to make sure your recommendations can legally be implemented.

Know Your Audience

While you always want to include formal language, your audience will influence the way you write your executive summary. If it is for employees, provide them with information and results that are relevant to their needs. On the other hand, if the report is for clients, make sure your executive summary reflects this. Fundamentally, make sure you tailor your summary to your audience as it will make your report more relevant to them. Furthermore, they will better understand the recommendations that you are trying to make in your report.

Keep Your Executive Summary Brief

Finally, while obvious make sure your executive summaries are brief. No one wants to read a summary that goes on for pages and pages. While the exact length will be up to your judgment, relevant factors to think about include your audience, the length of the report and the nature of your recommendations.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Lachlan Ward

Lachlan is an intern at Lawpath as part of the content team. He is currently studying a Juris Doctor at the University of Sydney. Lachlan has a keen interest in corporate law and commercial litigation.