A toolbox for a professional communication with non-actuaries

A toolbox for a professional communication with non-actuaries

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Over the last 5-10 years, more and more actuaries have recognized the importance of target-group-oriented communication of actuarial issues. If you want to become a qualified actuary, nowadays, in some countries, you have to check your communicative skills in compulsory trainings.

However, actuaries still find it difficult to explain non-actuaries their actuarial aspects in a transparent and comprehensible manner. This is still surprising because surveys show that companies and employees like to work with us. They ask us every day to solve problems and they realize that we are doing this with great enthusiasm.

But if we leave the actuarial environment and attempt to explain mathematical concepts or methods, this enthusiasm vanishes. We often formulate too complicated, do not illustrate, forget the basic knowledge of our conversation partner, or lose ourselves in too many details.

In my speech, I will report on the experiences of actuarial communication gained from my organized workshops with over 300 actuaries from different insurance sectors. I would like to demonstrate simple, practicable tools which you can use in communication with non-actuaries. In particular, following aspects are addressed where usually non-actuaries ask for more competence from actuaries

  • Start with the explanation at the beginning not in the middle of it
  • Omit any unimportant details
  • Illustrate facts with pictures and examples
  • Practical reference of the mathematical method

Finally, I will give some recommendations for the training of actuarial communication at universities and companies.

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