Motivational Speaker’s Answer: “I’m Not Answering. And That’s My Final Answer”

Have you ever had this happen to you? Someone asks you a question that you REALLY don’t know how to answer. You would LIKE to say, “None of your business, bozo,” but you don’t want to be rude, right?  Plus you think, “if I answer like that, will they think I’m trying to hide something?”

So you give an answer. Maybe it’s the truth, maybe not – it doesn’t matter. The point is that you answer their question when you would have preferred not to.

I have a HUGE news flash (or at least it was for me.) You do not need to answer! No, you don’t! And – while NOT answering you can actually remain calm and relaxed and totally non-defensive.  Here are a couple of options:

1.  Simply smile and say, “I’d prefer not to answer that question.”  Oh, I can hear you now, “I couldn’t say THAT!!” Well, then figure out what you COULD say.  Memorize a couple of stock answers and have them ready for when you need them – like my friend Rick did recently.  He and I were talking in a group of people when Rick was asked a very personal question about a mutal friend.  I was stunned at the question and curious as to how Rick would respond. Without hesitation he replied, “Why don’t you ask her?”  He then changed the subject.  Oooooooh. Very good.

2.  Use humor.  Recently my friend Lisa demonstrated this brilliantly.  She was out with a man friend of hers when a woman acquaintance asked her, “Well, are you two a couple now?” Lisa replied, “Oh we’re a couple alright. A couple of what, I’m not sure.”  She said the woman responded with, “No, seriously, are you guys a couple?”  Lisa didn’t hesitate. She repeated, “Like a said, a couple – yes. A couple of what – not so sure.”  Then she laughed and changed the subject.  Fabulous.

Bottom line:  Whatever method you choose to “not answer” – it is your perfect right to opt out!

I know what my stock response will be the next time someone asks me a question I don’t want to answer. I’ll laugh, throw back my head and reply, “I’m not answering. And that’s my final answer!”

From your wordsmithing motivational speaker, Linda Larsen




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. How about this: If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.

    Doesn’t work to well in church – but other places, works like a dream! :)

    Great advice from motivational speaker Linda Larsen!

  2. Motivational speakers are always in the spotlight – so I guess you (Linda) really have to be careful, and tactful, at all times. I’m a behind the scenes guy. So, I tend to be a little more blunt. And this sometimes makes Kelly cringe. If I get someone pushing me for an answer to something that is none of their concern, I’m likely to just say “NUNYA”.

  3. Yes, as motivational speakers we are often asked very unusual questions as we travel the county and interact with so many others. Yet, I often find it’s acquaintances or colleagues that asked the “too personal” questions. Loved your friend’s answer to the dating question. I often pull out, “Why do you ask?” when someone wants to know something very personal. At a minimum it forces them to say, “Well, I’m nosy or just curious.” If they press, I’ll simply say, “I prefer not to answer that,” and move on. Informative and fun post.

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