Recently I was reminded of an important life lesson. It's the lesson of knowing it's ok to just say no and how to say it. A favor was asked of me; however I knew my response would be no. Sharing the situation with my best friend I asked, "How do I say it?" She immediately responded back and said, "Just say NO!"
If people do say no, they usually do it in ineffective ways that come with an excuse. For example, they might say, "I'd like to help but I'm really busy". The problem with this approach is it gives the other person an opportunity to continue to ask. They feel they have an opening. "Since you're busy this week how about next week?"
Capturing someone's attention and getting them to do exactly what you want isn't about being the loudest or shiniest one in the room. It's about saying precisely what needs to be said, and not one word more. It's about calculated brevity. And if you study today's top celebrities, you'll see: it's an art form.