How to Create an Executive Summary that’s Easy to Digest 

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Whether it be for a complex financial report or a lengthy business plan, people often wonder how to make an executive summary more engaging to improve readership and ensure important information is digested.

Instead of a lengthy text document, the best and most modern approach to an executive summary is through animated videos. But before we explore this further, let’s take a moment to understand what an executive summary is and why it’s important to get it right. 

What is an executive summary?

By definition, an executive summary provides an overview of a larger business document or research paper and is usually the first thing a reader will see.  Its purpose is to provide a snapshot of the most important pieces of information within the document so that executives or other stakeholders can review it quickly. 

Some of the most common elements include an introduction that will capture the reader’s attention, relevant information for the target audience, like a project plan or financial information, and a perfectly executed summary of what is to follow in the document. 

Why is it important to have an effective executive summary? 

Put simply, an executive summary can determine the success of your report. It sets the tone and provides key information to help the reader understand what they should expect from the rest of your document.

It can also be the determining factor between the reader choosing to learn more or losing interest if they feel the information is not relevant.

By spending time on a well-executed summary, your chances of reaching the right people at the right time while conveying the right message will be far greater.  Otherwise, you may feel like the resources allocated to this project were not justified.

Take a business plan as an example. Imagine you are presenting this document to potential investors who are busy and need top-level information before they dig into the detail. You will want to spend time preparing a perfect summary to encourage them to engage with you and hopefully, invest in your business. 

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The best executive summary is one which displays the most important points of your document in an easily digestible way. If you are writing an executive summary, you might use bullet points, to sum up different information succinctly, but once people have read your executive summary, will they be engaged enough to look at the full report?

One way to combat this is to use an animated video to grab their attention and encourage them to read on further.

Why use animated video for your executive summary? 

According to Time Magazine, 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds of their time actively reading content. Therefore,  if you offer a lengthy report to someone, it’s likely that they won’t consume even a small portion of what you hope they would. 

If you want your content to be noticed, understood and digested, then you need to find a better way to represent it. Nowadays, this often means utilising video, especially animation for communicating your message.

Animation is able to reduce a complex report of several pages into just a single minute of a branded content video. Plus, if you work with an animation studio, you can even incorporate your tone of voice and brand personality. 

Finally,  what animation does especially well is to capture attention quickly and keep it. Using the right visual queues, combined with a strong script and kinetic typography, you can easily manage to get your viewer through to the end of the video without losing concentration.  For an executive summary, this is one of the most important elements to strive for. 

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How to start your animated summary

We are passionate about helping businesses create strong branded content to support their project proposals, digital marketing strategies and communications campaigns.

If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve this through an animated video, we’d love to hear from you. You can either reach out to us here or schedule a time to speak to us that suits you here. 

Helpful resources: 

We have some helpful guides for forward-thinking businesses looking to improve their communications. 

Download our guide to internal communications 

– Download our sales guide to increasing conversions using animation