There are three types of questions:

  1. The ones you want to answer.
  2. The ones you don’t want to answer.
  3. Those who do not belong here.

Since it’s often more difficult not to answer a question than to answer it, here’s my comprehensive list of how to answer a question without answering it:

  1. Ignore the question.
  2. Confirm the question without answering it.
  3. Question the question.
  4. Ask for more information about the question.
  5. Question the question.
    • The question does not address the key issue under discussion
    • The question is hypothetical or speculative
    • The question is based on a faulty premise
    • The question is not correct
    • The question contains a quote taken out of context
    • The question is insulting
  6. Refuse to answer.
    • Because you do not want to answer.
    • Because you can not answer.
    • “I can’t speak for anyone else.”
  7. Delay the answer (“you have to wait and then you will see”)
  8. Say you don’t know anything about the subject.
  9. Give an incomplete answer.
    • Start the answer, but do not finish it (interrupt yourself)
  10. Giving a “negative” answer: you say what will not happen instead of what will happen.
  11. Repeat the answer to another question
  12. Say or imply that the question has already been answered
  13. Taking the question literally

Of course, this is only the theory. And just as you can’t learn to swim from books, practice is critical to success. And since a non-swimmer doesn’t jump into deep water right away, but starts in knee-high water, we offer very practical media training for preparing press interviews, press meetings and press conferences. Our customers love these trainings because they are the optimal preparation!