What can separate two skilled data people for the same job? And what can increase the value of your technical skills?

When we were looking to hire a new data scientist, my supervisor asked a question I had never really thought about. 

What makes me successful at my job?

I rattled off the expected answers: technical skills, analytic abilities, creative visualizations. But these weren’t the attributes he was seeking to highlight. He wanted me to become aware of the one thing that made the technical skills, analytic abilities, and creative visualizations possible.

That one thing was communication

Gold Nugget Smal

What can set you apart from the crowd and increase your career value? Developing valuable communication skills that multiply with your technical skills.

The communication he was talking about included storytelling during presentations to keep audiences engaged, requirements gathering so that projects fulfilled expectations, explaining projects in a way to highlight their value and quanitify their success, and bridging gaps between the technical world and a non-technical audience.

Learning those communication skills hasn’t been easy

I’m not a talky-person by nature.

To improve my communication skills, I participate in Toastmasters, have taken marketing and writing classes, and am always looking for systems that make communication work better and more reliably. Systems help me overcome my introverted ways to be able to engage with coworkers and clients.

This website is dedicated to helping share those communication tips and tricks that I find helpful and useful

The tip or trick needs to be simple, implementable, and reliable to help organize communication for the chit-chatty-impaired (like me!) 

I’m also a visual person, and love those informational/educational posters you see in doctors’ offices, school walls, and museums. So, I present the tips and tricks in a page-sized printout with graphics and design to help make them memorable.

They’re fun to create for me, and I hope enjoyable and helpful for you.

So, kick back and enjoy learning key communication tips and tricks

If you like what you see, feel free to send me an email

And if there’s a communication perplexitude that has you flummoxed, ask and I’ll see if I have a solution.

Here’s a link to those tips and tricks.

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Philip D Riggs, Ph.D.


P.S. Do the cartoons and designs really help make the tips memorable?

According to a 2013 study (M. A. Borkin, et al., “What Makes a Visualization Memorable?”), adding pictures and graphics were an important attribute to make infographic visualizations more recognizable and memorable. I know for me they make things more enjoyable to read. 

So, if you don’t like cartoons and funky design, you probably aren’t going to like my tips and tricks. However, I like to do it, and am not going to stop. The cartoons and designs make creating these things fun for me… and I hope they take the boring out of learning communication skills.


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