Communications professionals have been raving about the three-day programme that helps non-finance professionals to decipher financial details and convey their meaning to others in a clear and relatable way. The programme was developed and launched by Florian Madertoner, lecturer of finance and economics at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). Florian’s executive education programme, Finance for communication professionals helps people who communicate on behalf of all kinds of businesses in every sector to speak the same language as their finance colleagues. Having this skill can give them more confidence in dealing with complicated financial information. Said one participant, “I now have a better handle on how the financial information is used and what unique story it tells. I also have the confidence to connect more fluidly with financial stakeholders and the Board.”

During more than a decade of teaching learners from diverse backgrounds, Florian recognised that there was a gap in the financial knowledge of many professional communications managers. “I noticed that many comms professionals needed a better way of translating the financial information that comes their way, so that they could more effectively align with their financial colleagues.”

“Florian was very engaging. That helped to make the topic more attractive. He also gave clear explanations of a balance sheet and helped us to create a mind map for it. We could ask ‘outsider’ questions. His efforts were greatly appreciated.”

- Karin Gerbens, Head of Global Communications, DFE Pharma 

Financial understanding through storytelling

Florian created the three-day programme to strengthen the internal and external financial understanding of professionals from all fields so they can relate financial information to their communications knowledge. Skills explored in the programme include gaining confidence in reading balance sheets, measuring risk and integrated reporting. Participants learn how to tell their company’s financial story– which also gives them insights into deciphering other companies’ financial stories. They learn how to translate the reports from their financial colleagues into a communications narrative.

“We have financial communications colleagues in our department. Now that I have a better understanding about how financial performance is communicated, I am more confident in my internal stakeholder discussions and in communicating important information to the company’s employees.”

Michelle Willys, Communications Manager, Allianz SE

Astonishing engagement scores

Feedback from participants is impressive, with a mean score of 9.2 out of 10 overall, 9.5 for the quality of the speaker and 8.8 for the programme’s structure. Participants rated the organisation and facilitation at 9.3, and also the quality and quantity of the literature, giving it 9.0 and 8.75 respectively. A whopping 9.6 of participants recommend the Finance for communication professionals programme to other non-finance professionals.

Florian’s students have remarked that they appreciated the overall view of his course. For some of them, it was the first time that someone had explained finance to them in plain language. Others who work consistently with commercial colleagues – who can glance at the financials and know about a given company based on what their numbers reflect – can now follow those conversations and join in.

On the feedback from his students, Florian said, “I really love that the participants feel more comfortable and confident with the financial side of business. Now that I know my students have enjoyed my first three-day programme, I’m looking into offering a follow-up programme that dives deeper into how to develop a financial narrative, and how to translate incoming cashflow into that narrative by connecting all the dots. Everyone can benefit from more education, and financial literacy is important.”

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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