Executive Summary Writing Course

Broad-based business writing improvement with a focus on synthesizing complex information into clear summary statements. Craft a tight "so what" statement that identifies significance, not just information.

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.

Course Overview

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. 

Once you finish the Executive Summary Writing Course you will be able to:
  • Distill complex ideas into succinct, coherent messages matched to business goals.
  • 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, PowerPoint decks, management briefs, and email.
  • Extract the most relevant and important information from a document and repurpose it seamlessly into another medium. For example, you will be able to transform an email presenting a proposed process into executive-level PowerPoint slides to convey that same concept widely.
  • Thorough practice on actual work documents to extract and hone executive summary information.
  • Write faster and with more skill.
  • Ensure all documents elicit business objectives, engage readers, and support information flow.
Download the outline
Executive Summary Course outline thumbnail
This complete course outline will show you exactly how we structure our classes to help your team or you quickly become an advanced executive summary writer.
Individual enrollment
Individual enrollment
Online self-paced course available for individuals. Sign up today and start learning how to summarize complex information clearly and improve your overall business writing.
Group enrollment
Online self-paced courses, instructor-led virtual courses, and instructor-led onsite courses can all be customized to match your company's needs. Group discounts apply.
woman executive summary writing on laptop

Who is this course for?

This course is a great fit for you or your organization if:

  • You’re in charge of a group or division in your company and looking to improve your team's executive summary and overall business writing skills.
  • You are new to writing executive summaries.
  • You're an individual in an analytic, management, or other position looking to improve your writing skills to become more effective in your communication or become more qualified for a new job.
  • You work in an industry or role that involves summarizing complex information or ideas.

Browse all business writing courses here.


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 

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 course concludes with a virtual one-to-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 reader 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 Feedback

Onsite training is highly interactive, with many individual, peer, and group activities. We focus on the thinking and planning work that is the foundation of executive summary writing, as well as sharpening syntax. 

Our instructor-led virtual training is equally as engaging, with plenty of "aha!" moments and interactive group and individual exercises.

Learn more about our self-paced online, instructor-led virtual, and instructor-led onsite group trainings.

Our Students’ Feedback See all testimonials
Thank you so much for these valuable lessons.

I will apply my learning daily. It helps me already with thinking about how I craft my emails.
Delivery Vice President, Customer

Lincoln Financial Group

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

The course provides amazing guidance when it comes to proper writing.

Defense Trade Solutions

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

I really enjoyed the feedback. It was constructive and positive, creating a good environment for learning.

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


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. I truly gained knowledge and an appreciation to perfecting writing skills in the business world. Thanks again.
Account Executive

FedEx Services

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!


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

kemper logo
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, its 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 and prioritized way is often not a co-occurring skill. This course provides your employees with the toolkit to distill and direct their expertise.

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

What is included in this course?

This business writing course is split into several detailed sections.

Module 1
An Introduction and Self-Assessment

This module outlines the necessary foundation for writing better content and process. We will work with you to develop specific learning goals that you want to achieve by the end of the course.

Module 2
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. 

Module 3
Importance of Organization

Learn how to organize your information for clarity. This module 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. 

Module 4
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.


Module 5
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.

Module 6
Email Use and Structure

Email now accounts for over 25% of our time in the workplace. In this module, 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.

Module 7
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.

Module 8
Organization and Presentation

In this module, 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.

Module 9
Clarity and Word Choice

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

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

Module 10
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. 

Module 11
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.

Module 12
Live Coaching Session

The course concludes with a live one-on-one video call 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. Ask any lingering questions.

The live coaching call acts to solidify the information learned during the course so you can apply your new knowledge to future writing and to provide detailed feedback on the executive summary you wrote in the course.

Full Course Outline

Key Skills You Will Learn

  • 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
  • Summarize 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 document
Feature  Includes individual feedback

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

Executive Summary Writing Course Instructors


Katie Almeida Spencer

  • M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston

  • B.A. in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island

Katie is an experienced Business Writing and English as a Second Language instructor, business writing coach, and teacher trainer. She taught Business Writing, Non-Native Writing, and Academic Writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

She is very skilled at evaluating both the substance and language of business documents. Her writing critiques, instruction, and coaching have received stellar evaluations from our clients at Chartis Consulting, DuPont, Shell, Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council, and the World Wildlife Fund.

She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. 

Katie lives in Rhode Island with her husband, toddler, and very old dog. When not teaching or creating courses, she can be found doing something (anything!) outside with her little family.

Janet D'Angelo

Janet D'Angelo

  • M.Ed from the Boston-Bouve College of Human Development Professions at Northeastern University.

  • B.S. in Education from Salem State College

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.

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Lisa Nelles

  • B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Waldorf University

  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks

Lisa is an experienced technical writer and editor specializing in process and procedure documentation. She made her mark in aviation by developing and writing technical manuals that supported successful new programs for airlines of all sizes and set new standards for manuals in the industry.

She has also taught and tutored academic and technical writing for university students in a variety of fields. She loves helping people improve their writing to improve their careers.

In her free time, she enjoys writing creatively, crafting, and outdoor adventuring with her husband and twin boys. She splits her time between Iowa and Alaska.

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Terrance Collins

  • B.A. In Journalism and International Business from The University of Wisconsin-Madison

Terrance has deep experience in both writing and business. He has spent much of his professional life in sales and marketing positions in technology companies, where he was always the go-to person for writing. After 15 years in sales and marketing at IBM, he spent several years working internationally for Amdahl and Lotus Development in Australia and Japan. He spent four years in Rotterdam and London as European Managing Director for Persoft, Inc., a leading networking software company.

For the past six years, he held senior editing and writing coaching positions at Huawei in Shenzhen, China, and with The Motley Fool.

He enjoys gardening, travel, and pétanque. The top entry on his bucket list is to walk a sizeable part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and France.


Elisabeth O'Quinn

  • B.S. in Business & Economic Development from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

  • M.B.A. with a specialization in International Finance & Investments from the University of North Carolina

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. 

Grace Cuddy

  • Graduate courses in Composition from Pompeau Fabra University

  • ESL Teaching Certification from Canterbury Consulting

  • B.A. in International Studies and Communication from Elon University

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 in NYC. She is also a successful blogger and has received rave reviews from her writing critiques and coaching for our work with DuPont, Liberty Mutual, SparkPost, 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.

Become a Better Business Writer

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