Imagine. You completed a three-month internship or project in a company. And you have to present your work to the company founder. But he has just 10 minutes. And they asked you to send a two-page executive summary of the project.
How will you present your three months of work in 10 minutes?
And how will you transfer your 200-page document in just two pages?
Summarizing skills will help you!
Summarizing is a crucial skill in today’s workplace for everyone.
When your interviewer asks you to tell about yourself, tell about your final year project or internship. What you are answering is a concise, to-the-point summary of your persona, project, or internship.
When your faculty asks you to summarize what you learn in the last class or previous chapter, or till the point in class, what you are using is summarizing skill.
When your senior manager asks you about the project’s status, you are essentially summarizing the report for him.
CEO, CFO, or CXO, directors, policymakers have a little time to go through lengthy reports. Hence they often ask for a Summary. Here complete unbiased Summary is critical.
- An abstract is a summary prepared by experts for experts.
- A synopsis is a summary prepared for business proposals.
- An outline is also a form of Summary.
- Executive Summary is a summary of a project, report, or business plan.
- Giving a 2-minute talk, 5-minute presentation, or 20X20 format presentation is nothing but summarizing your work within given time constraints.
The bottom line is that summary writing or summarizing is an essential skill in today’s workplace.
It has specific steps. But to master them, you need to practice them again and again.
So participate in the class, summarize case studies, join writing executive summaries, write Summary of books, reports that you read. And see how you are improving over it.
Summarizing skills is highly sought out in the workplace.
Some do’s and don’t on summarizing.
- write short statements
- cover main points, the central argument
- cover core information
- separate facts and opinions.
- Distinct main idea and supporting idea.
- reproduce sentences as it is.
- introduce your ideas
- judge or critic ideas
- add redundant information.
Steps to writing a good summary.
- Read critically and carefully. Mark in the book/document/report.
- Take notes.
- Think over notes and original.
- Write the first draft of your Summary.
- Use short, self-explanatory, and straightforward sentences. (KISS – Keep it simple and straight).
- Re-read and check for connections. Update as required.
- Ask your peer, friend, coworker to read and comment.
- Revise it based on it.
- Finally, check for grammar, punctuation, etc. Remember you are writing for senior professionals.
- Once again, please read it carefully and then Submit it.
Best way to keep practicing summarizing skills.
- Summarize meetings, classes, case studies in brief. Often in two minutes of time intervals.
- Write summaries of books. Summarize introduction and chapter-by-chapter.
- Write executive summaries of annual reports, business proposals, and business plans.
- Write summaries of your projects- academic or from a business context.
- Write a synopsis of books, movies, documentaries.
As an example.
Here are notes and a Summary of the introduction of Cal Newport’s best seller: Digital Minimalism.