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Whose Shoes Are We Talking To?. Alice Underwood Vice President, Converium Reinsurance Member, CAS External Communications Committee. Are We Talking to THEIR Shoes?. CAS actuaries have a great message to give! But sometimes we have trouble communicating it…. The Shoes of Maxwell Smart.

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Whose shoes are we talking to

Whose Shoes Are We Talking To?

Alice Underwood

Vice President, Converium Reinsurance

Member, CAS External Communications Committee


Are we talking to their shoes
Are We Talking to THEIR Shoes?

  • CAS actuaries have a great message to give!

  • But sometimes we have trouble communicating it…


The shoes of maxwell smart
The Shoes of Maxwell Smart

  • The CAS

    • What is the ECC?

  • You

    • Key: focus on the audience

    • Some communications pitfalls

    • Some communications strategies


Mission of the ecc
Mission of the ECC

  • Coordinate the CAS communication strategy

    • Subcommittee on Career Encouragement & Academic Relations

      • Audience: students, teachers, professors

    • Subcommittee on External Relations

      • Audience: employers, clients, related organizations

  • Develop and disseminate information to increase awareness & understanding of casualty actuaries and their work


Cas communications plan
CAS Communications Plan

  • http://www.casact.org/members/ecc/commplan.htm

  • Some of the objectives: for AAA or CAS leadership

  • Some of the objectives: for ECC

    • Promote Dynamic Financial Analysis

    • Encourage students to consider a career as a casualty actuary

    • Foster awareness that casualty actuaries and their methods can help corporate America and governmental entities better assess, measure, and manage risk

    • Increase awareness of contributions made by CAS actuaries to the P/C insurance industry


Ecc related committees and programs
ECC: Related Committees and Programs

  • Media Relations Committee

  • Media Spokespersons

  • Academic Correspondent & University Liaison Programs

  • CAS Trust Scholarship Subcommittee

  • Joint CAS/SOA Committee on Academic Relations

  • Joint CAS/SOA Committee on Career Encouragement

  • Joint CAS/SOA Committee on Minority Recruitment


Ecc recent accomplishments
ECC: Recent Accomplishments

  • Formed the Media Relations Committee

  • Promoted the AC/UL Program

  • Inaugurated the CAS Trust Scholarship program

  • Developed an article on the CAS for the Encyclopedia of Actuarial Science

  • Collected case studies on actuaries in non-traditional roles


Back to their shoes
Back to THEIR Shoes!

  • When might we need to communicate to a non-actuarial audience?

    • Talking about the actuarial profession

    • Explaining a particular methodology

    • Discussing the results of calculations

    • Making recommendations

    • What else…?


What do we do wrong
What Do We Do Wrong?

  • Results of a small, highly unscientific poll:

    • “Get lost in the minutiae”

    • “No translation into layman’s terms”

    • “Too much jargon”

    • “At least try to explain”

    • “Trapped by the science”


Key focus on the audience
Key: Focus on the Audience

  • What’s in it for them?

  • What do you want them to “take away”?

  • How can you communicate your points most effectively?


Talking about the profession
Talking about the Profession

  • How do you describe what you do?

  • What analogies can you draw for your listeners?

  • What message do you want to send?

    • To your friends & family

    • To a college student choosing a career

    • To another financial professional

    • To a “nontraditional” employer


Technically oriented material
Technically-Oriented Material

  • BRIEF summary

  • Overview of methods & results

    • Only a few main points

    • Tailor language & exhibits to the audience

  • Conclusions & recommendations

    (Bullet points, bullet points!)


Some communications pitfalls
Some Communications Pitfalls

Many of us have fallen into one or more of these, at one time or another…


They don t want to see your formula
They Don’t Want to See Your Formula!

  • Do they really want to see

    ESF(x, Z) =  xi• P[xi | Z < Fz-1()]

  • Or do they want to know

    “The expected profit of the account, in years when the line of business is tanking”






Don t include sidetrack issues
Don’t Include Sidetrack Issues

  • This year’s projected loss ratios

    • (when what you want them to hear is the new expense allocation method)

  • Property catastrophe losses

    • (when what you want them to hear is the ex-cat results)

  • The three methods that didn’t work

    • (when what you want them to hear is the results of the method that worked)


Some communications strategies
Some Communications Strategies

Ideas for more effective communication…


Have only a few key points
Have Only a Few Key Points

  • Don’t try to handle more than three or four key points in a single communication

    • More than that and what’s the focus?

    • A blur!

  • Emphasize your key points strongly: make them stand out


Make it concrete
Make It Concrete

  • Use (a few) examples as appropriate

  • Provide an illustration

  • Give an analogy

  • Offer something to “hang on to”


Help them stay awake and engaged
Help Them Stay Awake and Engaged!

  • Ask a leading question

  • Give them a problem to think about

  • Have a sense of humor!


Conclude with a conclusion or maybe a question
Conclude with a Conclusion – or Maybe a Question

  • Not just a bunch of data

  • Not just a bunch of calculations

  • Conclude with a question:

    • Need your input

    • What do you prefer

  • Conclude with a conclusion:

    • Make a recommendation

    • Provisional conclusion may be OK


Remember not your shoes
Remember: Not YOUR Shoes!

  • What’s in it for them?

  • What do you want them to “take away”?

  • How can you communicate your points most effectively?


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