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Executive summary (or your six PowerPoint slides)

My mentors said, "Writing an executive summary is art, not science". You have to get the essence of the strategy down to one page, with no cheating on the font size. It does not matter how clever, sophisticated and brilliant the idea is, if you can't explain its core in a few sentences, then most decision makers will not want to wade into the detail. I've been the boss many times, and I want to see the integrity of the idea and engagement. You write it last, but it is the first page they see.

Executive Summary

Key elements

  • Your recommendation why now (you want them spend the money and to tell you to do it)
  • A brief paragraph of the objective and how it fits into the "big picture", from the vision, mission and situation analysis.
  • Advantages to the firm
  • Risks to the firm and likely market responses
  • The financial benefits to the costs
  • Resources you need and timing issues


Less is more, active voice, concise, and don't use jargon or acronyms to save space.

Your goal

An experienced decision maker in your firm should be able to understand the essence of you strategy in ten seconds.

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