Finance Department

 

Date of this Version

2002

Document Type

Article

Citation

Journal of Actuarial Practice 10 (2002), pp. 5-62

Comments

Copyright 2002 Absalom Press

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss techniques for developing effective communication skills, focusing in particular on technical writing, the use of graphics, and presentation. The key principles of effective communication that we propose to actuaries are as follows:

• Identify your audience and consider their needs and abilities;

• Focus on substantive content;

• Choose appropriate communication tools;

• Use language that is simple, concrete, and familiar;

• Integrate text, numbers, and graphics;

• Respond to information complexity creatively.

We focus in particular on the use of graphics as a communications tool as they are an efficient and potentially highly effective means of conveying information. We also describe several common errors in graphic construction-and how to correct them-using examples from the business world.

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