How To Quickly Write an Executive Summary (Using AI)
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A great executive summary grabs your audience’s attention and makes them want to learn more about your business plan. Think of it like a teaser that tells potential investors, partners, or customers why they should do business with your company. The best summaries convey this information clearly and succinctly, with compelling details about the business’s strengths.
However, condensing your detailed business plan into a short, captivating summary can be tricky. Working with companies like Pilotlight, Team Up Hub, and well-being startup Maji, I’ve experienced this challenge firsthand.
That’s why I’ve created this article to help you out. Below, I share my top five tips for how to write an executive summary quickly, efficiently, and with impact.
Quickly craft a compelling executive summary
Writing an efficient executive summary quickly might sound tricky, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can get it done — and get on with the rest of your job.
Follow the steps below to craft an engaging executive summary in no time.
Step 1: Prepare key information
Take time to consider your target audience and what they need to know. Use Wordtune’s AI summarizing tool to outline your business plan’s key points. Simply click Upload to summarize to import your business plan. Wordtune will automatically extract the key points for you in just moments.
Look out for information that highlights:
- The problem your business solves
- Your business’s unique selling points (USPs)
- Your potential market and how you’ll reach them
- Your financial projections and current cashflow (if you’ve already launched to market)
- Any other details that might add interest to your company’s story — e.g., founders’ backgrounds, competitor analysis, or testimonials
Write down the summarized points that highlight this key information, ready to use in step two.
Tip: Depending on what you want to achieve with your executive summary, some of these points will be more important than others. For example, focusing on market opportunities and financials is a good idea if you hope to gain investment with your business plan and summary. For partners and customers, your main focus should be explaining how your product solves a problem or need.
Step 2: Decide on your template
Now that you’ve extracted the critical information you need, it’s time to find the right template to shape your executive summary. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are many templates out there that you can use to create your summary.
When choosing a template, check that it includes:
- An introduction
- A brief description of your company and the problem you’re solving
- A summary of the industry or field and your target audience
- Introduction to yourself and your other senior team members
- Route to market
- Financial overview
The sections you include will differ depending on your product or service and what stage of development you’re at. For example, if you’re a solo founder, add a section dedicated to your personal story. Or, if you’ve already made some sales or partnerships, you can include a section on your progress so far.
Then, add your summarized bullet points into each section, and prepare to start fleshing out the text.
Step 3: Develop the details
With your structure in place, it’s time to develop each section with further details. Stick to the essential information without straying into tangents.
Sustainable shoe brand Allbirds’ 2021 Sustainability Report is a great example of a short, impactful summary.
Struggling to make your bullet points into sentences? Ask ChatGPT or Wordtune to generate a short description using this prompt:
Wordtune’s AI generator provided this text:
Tip: Successful prompts are clear, concise, and specific. Offer some context in your AI prompts. Here, I prompted Wordtune to act as an expert in my field.
Step 4: Hone the story
Tech Crunch’s 2022 study showed that investors spent 24% less time looking at pitch decks than in 2021. Keep your executive summary concise to entice potential investors to read the rest of the business plan and take action — whether that’s investing, building a partnership, or buying your product or service.
To achieve this, introduce a narrative to hook the reader and entice them to learn more. I recommend using Freytag’s Pyramid to create your narrative arc. The Pyramid outlines this basic plot structure:
- Establish your context (exposition)
- Set up a problem (inciting incident)
- Build to a climax
- Solve it (resolution)
Using our earlier example, your product story might look something like this:
- People love their dogs (context/exposition)
- Veterinary care for dogs can be very expensive (problem/inciting incident)
- Some families make enormous sacrifices to pay for their pets (climax)
- Preventative healthcare can be the solution (resolution)
Step 5: Simplify and revisit your tone
Using simple language and adjusting your tone will keep your audience engaged.
To simplify your language, read through each section to ensure it’s easy to follow.
In the tapestry of human existence, a profound affection unfurls toward our loyal canine companions, whose presence in our lives is cherished like a precious gem and presents unfounded joy. Yet, a looming predicament casts its disquieting shadow, as the burden of veterinary care for these beloved creatures can become exorbitant.
Although there are some nice phrases here, the meaning isn’t clear. Ask yourself, what is the message I’m trying to get across? Cut out anything that doesn’t directly contribute to it. Let’s simplify it:
Many people are dog lovers, and having one as a pet can bring you a lot of happiness. However, it can be expensive to take care of your dog.
Tip: Use Wordtune to rewrite and shorten sentences to keep your language simple and direct.
Your summary’s tone should also match your product and audience. If you’re looking for investors, a formal tone will convey expertise. Use Wordtune to change your tone by clicking the Formal button.
On the other hand, a casual tone is a better choice if you want to display your executive summary on your website and engage potential buyers. Simply click Casual in Wordtune to make your writing more approachable.
With a few useful strategies, you can write a compelling executive summary in no time. Note down key information, create a structure, flesh out the details, and develop a narrative. For a final pass, check your tone and language are appropriate for your audience. You can complete these steps with the help of AI to get the most out of your executive summary.
How do you write an executive summary quickly?
Writing your executive summary quickly is easier when you create a clear framework and determine the key points your reader needs to know from your business plan. You can also use AI tools to help you summarize your plan and put together the final summary.
How long should an executive summary be?
An executive summary should be a concise version of your business plan. Ideally, it should be one to three pages long.
How can you use AI to help you write an executive summary?
AI writing tools can help you summarize your business plan by identifying the most important points. You can then prompt the software to write your sections and use it to review and edit your writing to make it even clearer.