Can You Describe Financial Information to Non-Financial Colleagues?

As a financial professional, you handle complex technical information that, while second nature to you, is unfamiliar and often confusing and intimidating to your counterparts in other departments of your organization. For effective teamwork, you must be able to convey financial topics and findings in an easily understandable way while still being informative and useful. Here are tips for finance professionals to communicate effectively with non-financial colleagues:

Think About Your Audience’s Needs

The key to describing more specialized or complicated topics to those unfamiliar is empathizing with their perspectives. Consider your audience’s needs – what crucial takeaway points do they want to know? What are they most concerned about, or how does the information affect them? Putting yourself in your colleagues’ positions will help you frame your information meaningfully, making it easier for them to grasp.

Be Concise and Direct

Avoid using jargon or technical explanations as much as possible when interacting with non-financial colleagues. Be concise and direct – plan ahead to determine the main points you want to convey and briefly describe them. Try not to overexplain in too much detail. If necessary, provide basic definitions or overviews, but keep it as simple and to the point as possible so it’s not overwhelming to others. Then, let your colleagues ask clarifying questions to guide the conversation.

Provide Clear Context

A major factor in non-technical counterparts having difficulties understanding technical information is that they can’t easily apply it to their everyday work. Provide clear context – when explaining complex financial topics, use real-life examples to clarify and tie them into the bigger picture for the organization. You can also present data in different ways to make it more comprehensible, such as with visual charts or fictional scenarios. Ultimately, you should ensure your non-financial colleagues can realize how financial information impacts them and the organization as a whole.

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