Broad-based business writing with a focus on synthesizing complex information.

Executive Summary Writing Course

Available for groups as a self-paced online course, instructor-led virtual or instructor-led onsite training, and for individuals as a self-paced online course.

Download the Outline

View the structure of our course that will help your team or you quickly become an advanced executive summary writer.


The ability to summarize and synthesize lots of information into a coherent statement that highlights implications, not merely a recitation of facts, is essential in managerial and persuasive writing. 

These summaries take many forms — briefs, scorecards, status reports, regulatory reports, client recommendations, meeting summaries, status updates, and business pitches.

They require keen thinking and planning, and skilled writing to enable your reader to understand complex information easily. Most professionals write executive summaries throughout much of their business writing.

This course teaches the optimal business writing process, provides broad-based business writing improvement, and teaches you how to write clearly and correctly. 



Online self-paced course available for individuals. Sign up today and learn how to summarize complex information clearly and improve your overall business writing.


Online self-paced courses and instructor-led virtual and onsite training can all be customized to match your needs. Group discounts apply.

Participants in our Executive Summary Writing Course will be able to:

  • Distill complex ideas into succinct, coherent messages.

  • Apply an efficient process for planning and organizing complex information and ideas. This tested process is applicable across multiple documents, including all forms of reports, white papers, presentation decks, management briefs, and emails.

  • Extract the most relevant and important information from a document and repurpose it seamlessly into another medium. 

  • Write faster and with more skill.

  • Ensure all documents elicit business objectives, engage readers, and support information flow.

Why clear executive summaries are essential

While they are quick to read, they are not quick to write. Business writers must distill complex information into the most essential and actionable items that are relevant to the reader. Understanding, prioritizing, and summarizing large amounts of content are skills that must be learned and practiced.

Executive summaries are most commonly found in analytic and management positions where individuals have to consume and act upon significant amounts of information. They can also be found in many fields, as the skill of summarizing significant information into a brief text is highly useful in a range of business areas.

The value for individuals


Given their important role in business communication, writing effective executive summaries is a highly prized skill. Executives and managers can quickly recognize a clearly worded summary, and appreciate the clarity of the abbreviated version.

It is much more challenging to write shorter than longer. This fact makes the challenge of the executive summary even greater. Therefore, when they are well-written, their value is apparent to managers.

The value for employers

Developing your employees’ business communication skills improves communication flow within your organization. If your company relies on executive summaries to communicate information between departments and management levels, then you understand the importance of receiving clearly extracted information.

While employees can be experts in their area, being able to communicate information in a summarized way is often not a co-occurring skill. This course provides your employees with the toolkit to distill their expertise.

Improved executive summaries will improve the transfer of information through your company. This shift in communication will increase productivity and eliminate confusion which can lead to costly mistakes.


Course Certificate

After completing the course, you will earn a personalized certificate. You can display your certificate in the certification section of your LinkedIn profile, download it to print, or mention it in your résumé.

Individual written feedback and live coaching for every student

During the self-paced course, you will apply what you are learning in a series of writing exercises. These tasks are designed to reinforce what you are learning in that section of the course. Additionally, after submitting these writing exercises, you will receive detailed written feedback from your instructor.

The online course concludes with a live one-on-one coaching session to review one of the typical executive summary documents you've written at work and identify additional writing improvements.

Objective feedback:

  • Does the document have a clear purpose and business objective?
  • Is the document based fully on the reader's perspective?
  • Does the reader have all the content needed (and none that is not needed) to achieve the business objective of the document?

Subjective feedback:

  • Is your tone too blunt or too timid?
  • Are your word choices clear and strong?
  • Can you cut any unnecessary words?
  • Are there any grammar errors?

Instructor-led group training

Onsite training, shown on the left, is highly interactive, with many individual, peer, and group activities where participants will receive feedback.

Groups work together to deconstruct documents, break down individual writing concerns, plan an upcoming document, and more.

After onsite training concludes, participants can submit a recent document to receive even more personalized feedback from their instructor.

Instructor-led virtual training

Virtual training also allows for highly engaging instruction, exercises, and discussion.

Learners complete activities in breakout rooms, break down documents individually, and are encouraged to participate in lively conversations and ask questions.

After virtual training concludes, participants can submit a recent document to receive even more individual feedback from their instructor on their actual writing.

Learn more about our instructor-led training.

Our clients' feedback

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I often have to summarize complicated information and explain large loss coverage to people who are under stress. I will apply this training to all of my letters, emails to customers, communication with colleagues, and my reports.

Senior Claims Adjuster
Kemper Corporation
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The written comments were much more detailed than I expected, and I appreciate the time taken to provide that level of feedback and instruction.

Lincoln Financial Group
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Great instructor who was extremely knowledgeable. She made complex executive summaries seem very easy and the tips she provided can be easily implemented. Excellent class!

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This has helped me to better plan and structure my writing - and also helped me to think more about whom I'm writing to in my emails/reports.

Director, Customer Success
Aegis Industrial Software Corporation
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Thank you very much for your insightful comments. I actually appreciate the fact that you "nitpicked" my exercises. Your comments and suggestions are of great value, and I can only benefit from your professional advice. What a great resource to go back and be able to refer to. 

Account Executive
FedEx Services
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The course provides amazing guidance when it comes to proper writing.

Defense Trade Solutions
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Thank you again for helping me gain clarity in my business writing, and for all the tips on managing all the information I gather on a daily basis. These courses are invaluable.

Business Analyst

In this comprehensive executive summary writing course you will learn:

  • How to summarize effectively and persuade through written text.
  • Strategies to convey complex information clearly in writing.
  • How to write well-organized, relevant content that is sequenced to help busy readers.
  • How to project competency and professionalism in all types of document.


What is included in this course?

This executive summary writing course is split into several detailed sections.

Getting Started

An Introduction and Self-Assessment

This section outlines the necessary foundation for writing better content and process. Share your specific course goals, and tell us about the typical documents you write. 

Lesson 1

6 Steps to Writing Effective Executive Summaries

Learn our step-by-step process to write more effectively. In order to summarize well, a business writer needs to have a strong understanding of what the reader needs as well as the document's purpose.

You will be able to create better structure and help your reader take the desired action by summarizing what matters. 

Lesson 2

Importance of Organization

Learn how to organize your information for clarity. This lesson includes tips and tricks on how to organize the beginning, middle, and end of your document and make it quick to scan.

We'll also illustrate actual executive summary writing and how to craft a "so what" summary that highlights what matters from mere backstory. 

Lesson 3

Internal Documents

Colleagues are depended on well-summarized information to act decisively. Learn how to write better internal documents.

Better communication inside your organization can lead to fewer meetings, higher productivity, and less chaos.  

Lesson 4

External Documents

Learn best practices for when you need to write to external stakeholders. A writing mistake to a team member may be overlooked, but you can be sure it will be noticed by a new customer, supplier, or regulator. It is crucial you can communicate professionally and summarize well.

Lesson 5

Email Use and Structure

Email now accounts for over 25% of our time in the workplace. In this lesson, we teach you how to save time and better manage high email volume. You will learn how to structure emails to elicit the results you want.

Lesson 6

Strategy for Reports with an Executive Summary

Learn the optimal structure and sequence for a business report.

You will learn how to drastically improve a report's effectiveness by writing a focused and well synthesized executive summary that enables readers to quickly glean the most important implications.

Lesson 7

Organization and Presentation

In this lesson, we share the best tips for organizing and presenting information, including graphical representations.

Good readability helps your reader scan and easily absorb complex information. You will also learn how to format documents depending on their purpose.

Lesson 8

Clarity and Word Choice

By definition, executive summaries convey complex information. The goal is to make the complex clear.

In this lesson, you will learn the tested tools to eliminate bloat, write clear and direct, and easy to understand sentences. 

Lesson 9

Style and Tone

Style and tone change depending on the type of document you are writing and your reader. An internal memo or email is different than an external letter or report.

In this section, we will teach you how to convey confidence and emote an executive voice that presents you as a skilled professional. 

Lesson 10

Grammar and Syntax

Identify your particular grammar and punctuation errors and learn tactics to avoid these embarrassing mistakes.

These go beyond simple tips and tricks. These are proven grammar and syntax strategies that will make your writing correct and professional.

Final Document Review

One-on-One Coaching Session

The course concludes with a live one-on-one coaching session with your instructor.

During this session, you will review one of your typical work documents with your instructor, and verify your ability to summarize anything well in writing. You can ask any lingering questions.

This live coaching call helps to solidify the information learned during the course so you can apply your new knowledge to future writing.

View the Full Course Outline

Key skills you will learn in this course:

  • Summarize complex information clearly in writing.
  • Identify and correct your individual grammar errors.
  • Significantly reduce time spent writing documents.
  • Include well-organized, relevant content that is sequenced to help busy readers.
  • Organize and format text for easy reader scan and improve persuasion.
  • Distill complex information effectively and persuade through written text.
  • Objectively assess your own writing and resolve any substantive or syntax issues.
  • Plan a document efficiently to avoid writer's block.
  • Use recommended tools to improve tone, jargon, grammar, and readability.
  • Project competency and professionalism in all types of documents.

Includes individual feedback on your writing

This course includes award-winning instructor coaching and feedback and ongoing support.

Executive Summary Writing Course Instructors

Janet D'Angelo headshot
Janet D'Angelo

Janet is a business writing and marketing instructor, consultant, author, and public speaker with more than 20 years of experience working with individuals, small businesses, and corporations to develop all facets of business communication. She writes and speaks extensively on business writing and marketing writing and has been a featured speaker at numerous business and education conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Janet taught analytical writing, marketing writing, proposal writing, and general business writing courses at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

She enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking, and exploring the endless beauty of the New England seacoast where she lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts.

Grace Cuddy

Grace supports Instructional Solutions' online courses and also works with individuals and groups from several multinational companies across Europe as a business writing coach.

She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has traveled extensively, providing a keen sensitivity to global writing. She has a strong background in corporate communication and management and successfully developed cross-functional writing and communication processes in a large corporate team. She is also a successful blogger and has received rave reviews from her writing critiques and coaching for our work with DuPont, Liberty Mutual, and many other groups. 

She is bilingual in English and Spanish. She enjoys yoga, travel, and dance. She splits her time between New York City and Madrid.

Elisabeth O'Quinn

Elisabeth has a unique combination of business and business writing acumen, with extensive background in writing, editing, and content marketing management.

She has supported a variety of businesses, writing blog articles, reports, presentations, and editing business documents. She has supported many of our clients with rave reviews of her writing feedback.

Elisabeth lives in Georgia with her cat and rescue pup. In addition to writing, she loves traveling with her twin sister, learning German, and creating watercolor prints. 
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Bailey Lang

Bailey is a professional writer, editor, and accountability coach with more than a decade of experience. 

She began her career in marketing communications for a global HR outsourcing company before taking a detour into academia. She earned her MA in rhetoric and writing at the University of Findlay and then completed her Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing studies at Bowling Green State University. Along the way, she wrote and published a book, numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, and more. 

When she’s not writing or editing, you'll find her reading, hiking, or knitting. 

Become a better executive summary writer.

Sign up today or schedule a discussion to become a stronger, clearer writer.



Sign up today and start learning how to become a better executive summary writer.


We offer customized online, virtual, and onsite courses, workshops, and trainings that match your organization's needs.