So, How Do I Answer That?

How you answer questions depends on many factors. Example what type of situation is it. Are you working with your colleague or talking with your boss. Are you doing an interview with the media or announcing a breakthrough with your business.

Most people have told me that they worry the most when it is the media, because embarrassing or damaging answers could end up on public display. However, the reality is the most reporters are not out to get people, they are just looking for the facts behind the story.

Sometimes it can be difficult to state your answers because each person has their own agenda of things that they would like to accomplished or have answered.

It is important in these situations to remain calm. When you are stressed out or upset, you literately shut off your thinking cells.

If you use the example of a manufacturing company looking at moving or upgrading their facility and media has heard they are shutting down, putting the employees out of work, we can look at different scenarios.

Many people find yes / no questions very annoying or upsetting because in either case it can be very misleading. For example, if they asked, are you closing down the plant? and you answered with a yes, that sounds permanent and possibly putting many people out of work. Where as it may be temporary to accomplish some upgrades or maybe you are relocating to a more efficient location.

If you are being asked yes or no questions that could be misleading, there are ways you can answer with an explanation without looking like you are making excuses.

A couple of examples would be;

  • Yes, and in addition to that? (we have found a more efficient and safer builder)
  • No, there is more to this?(We are completing some upgrades for safety and efficiency)
  • I do not know about that, I do however know?(We do have plans to upgrade and improve safety)
  • Other times you may have the media interviewing you and they are not quite sure what questions to ask. Often, they appreciate it when you help them out. If you find the questions they are asking confusing or irrelevant you can lead them to the important issues.

    Some of the ways to do this are;

  • What I think you're getting at is?(We had concerns for the safety and well being of our employees)
  • That is one possibility and?(another is to find a safer building to work in)
  • But perhaps an equally important issue here is?(the workers safety comes first)
  • Sometimes it is important to emphasize an issue. The person you are speaking with may not realize what the important issues are.

    You can help them out by saying:

  • What I would really like to point out is?.(We at XYZ Company take safety seriously)
  • The most significant issue here is?(Once we heard about the safety issues, we took immediate action to resolve it)
  • What distinguishes this from others is?(We took the time to listen to the workers concerns and acted right away)
  • Remember, stay calm, think through your answer and prepare your self in advance. It is not about answering the quickest, it is about getting the facts right, which helps both you and the reporter with their story. This in turn helps build your credibility.

    P.S. If you like what you're reading in this ezine,
    you'll love the book,"Media Protocol"
    If you have ever been terrified to have an interview with
    the media or answer their questions, this is the ebook for you.
    Media Protocol

    All the Best!
    Maria Boomhower
    The Master Communicator
    To sign up for a free report on

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