Ways To Say No–In Person And In Your Letters

What You Say: Ways To Say “No”

by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.




If you need to write a rejection letter or get rid of a persistent salesman or want to teach your teenager to say No to drugs, watch a good movie. Movie dialogues are a rich source of ways to express yourself.  Think of movies as vocabulary-builders.

For example, “The King’s Speech” is a delightful way to add to your vocabulary while at the same time being entertained by great actors and a great story.  The principal character, Prince Albert (later King George VI), gets off to a rocky start with eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue.   The prince, who will one day become king, says to Logue, “I don’t think this is for me.”

Don’t think for a minute that this expression is reserved just for royalty.  You can use it yourself if you want to turn down a sales pitch by a car salesman, stock broker, or realtor.  You can try it if you’re in a group, and someone proposes doing something that you’re uncomfortable with; or if you’re a parent, and want to teach your children what to say if they’re invited to use drugs or do something dangerous or illegal.

This powerful and polite sentence can be effective in business.  If you’re an editor, you can use a version of the statement in your rejection letter.  Write something like: “Your book, or article, is fascinating and beautifully written, but I don’t think it is quite right for us.”  If you’re a buyer, you can say something like, “You made a terrific presentation, and we are impressed by the product you described, but it isn’t quite right for us.”

If you learn effective and polite ways to say No, you can avoid doing what you don’t want to do and being with people you don’t care for.  You will save money and time, and perhaps even save the life of your child who might otherwise say Yes to something dangerous.

–Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and consultant.  His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations.  To learn more about his presentations, contact us at 404-256-5927 or abe@mindspring.com

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Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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