January 2024 – Words of Wisdom…in a Glossary

While not as scholarly and elegant as a dictionary, one should never gloss over the importance of a glossary.  Especially in a business simulation class.

Accounting is often referred to as the language of business.  But if that’s the case, then many industries seem to be speaking their own dialects.  And often have a vocabulary of terms that is very specific to their “branch of knowledge”.  A lexicon by any other name…

Take the insurance industry, for example, in which a variety of incomprehensible terms are used such as Gross Combined Ratio, Premiums to Surplus, Quota Share, and Loss Tails.  For anyone but an actuary, a glossary of terms would be helpful to understand what these words actually mean, why they’re important, and how they’re used – and why they’re not as chilling as they might sound at first.  Important knowledge when running an insurance company – or a simulated carrier in an insurance business simulation class.

Here are some examples of PriSim’s glossaries used in both our live and virtual classes:

A few of our best-practices in writing glossaries for business simulation classes include:

  • Keep it short and specific – remember that it’s a glossary, not a dictionary.
  • Write with the audience in mind. You may be an actuary who loves complex mathematical analyses and risk tables, but your participants may have had other uses for their precious time on earth.
  • Use simple and plain language, bullet-ize the terms, and organize them into categories such as financial terms, ratios and KPIs, operating terms, etc.
  • Ask an industry subject matter expert to edit and triple-check your definitions before you publish your glossary.

Give your business simulation participants words of wisdom, literally, by providing a glossary of key terms.  You’ll find them speaking and communicating in the same language and in the same dialect, unlike what happened in these 13 “lost in translation” business flops.