When writing an executive summary, the proper format must be kept in mind. Does executive summary have page number? How long should an executive summary be? Read on to find out!
The length of the original document or report you are summarizing impacts the length of your summary. This article will teach you how to write and properly format your executive summary.
What Is an Executive Summary?
Executive summary, or management summary, summarizes the most important points of a longer report or proposal. A clear, concise executive summary should contain all the necessary information. The purpose is to give readers a quick overview of the entire document.
An executive summary is a shorter version of a longer document, a proposal, or several related reports. It should be brief, to the point and persuasive.
Business plans, marketing strategies, proposals, and other lengthy documents frequently use executive summaries to highlight key points. Remember that readers often have limited time, so you must grab their attention quickly and persuade them to continue reading.
Why Do You Need an Executive Summary?
An executive summary is needed to communicate information points to different audiences for the following reasons:
- An executive summary can help busy professionals quickly understand the critical issues of a lengthy report or proposal.
- It can provide an overview for those unfamiliar with the report’s topic.
- An executive summary is part of a proposal or presentation to decision-makers.
How to Format an Executive Summary
There are no specific formatting requirements for an executive summary, but it’s best to keep it simple and easy to read. Some tips:
- Use short paragraphs and bullet lists when possible.
- Make sure all information is relevant to the main point.
- Avoid repetition or tangential information.
- Keep your tone friendly and professional.
- Use line spacing of 1.5 and font size 12pt.
- The first paragraph should include the goal of the executive summary.
- Subsequent paragraphs must have topic-specific headings. For instance, “Background,” “Findings.”
- There should be at most five lines of text in a section.
- Include page numbers if an executive summary is part of a larger document.
- The document should be two to three pages long.
How Long Is an Executive Summary?
A determinant of an executive summary’s length is the document’s purpose. The length of an executive summary should be between 5 to 10% of the original document.
For instance, the executive summary of a business plan could be two pages maximum. While in contrast, the executive summary of a technical design document could be 500 words or fewer.
Does Executive Summary Have Page Number?
Include page numbers if an executive summary is part of a larger document. When the document is two or three pages long, you can number the pages too.
Common Misconceptions About the Executive Summary
Many times, an executive summary is mistaken for:
1. An Outline
An outline is a plan of what you say, usually in bullet points. It can help keep your argument organized and ensure you cover all the key points.
2. An Introduction
An introduction sets out the parameters of your discussion and provides some background information. It should be concise and clear.
3. A Conclusion
A conclusion sums up everything that has been said, reiterating your main point or arguments.
There is a big difference between an outline, an introduction, and a conclusion. The main difference is that a conclusion typically brings the essay to a close. While an outline provides a roadmap for your reader, highlighting the key arguments you will make.
An introduction sets the tone for your paper and introduces your readers to the topic. But then, an executive summary is a shorter version of a longer document that gives readers a quick overview of the entire document.
Elements of an Effective Executive Summary
Typically, a strong executive summary will have the following elements:
- A brief overview of the business’s background.
- An explanation of why the reader should invest in the company,
- A description of the goods or services it offers.
- Financial data, including current performance and projections for the future.
- A quick summary of critical executives’ biographies.
The Bottom Line
Does executive summary have page number? The answer to this question is not the focus of an executive summary. The focus is on communicating the core aspects of your report and business idea in just a few sentences in a persuasive manner.
Such a winning executive summary is achievable by writing in a no-nonsense way. You may decide to include a page number in your executive summary or not. The bottom line is to write an engaging and persuasive executive summary.
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