Love her or hate her, Kellyanne Conway, President-Elect Trump's lead spokesperson, is masterful at handling brutally direct questions from the media and getting right back to her boss's key talking points.

Consider these two confrontations. The first is with CNN's Erin Burnett.

The second is with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

In each instance, Conway dodged the tough question, and reverted to either attacking the Clintons or making sure she conveyed her key points.

I'm not suggesting you evade a tough question. Rather I'd like to share the tips my firm provides clients when we ready them for a round of media interviews. In every instance, we recommend they always answer the question, but do so in the following ways:

1.) Be brief. Answer the question, but don't provide any additional thoughts. You can oftentimes provide a prospect, employee, or reporter with information you never intended to share in the first place.

2.) Never repeat a negative. When you're asked a question such as, "Is it true that your company is close to bankruptcy?," don't respond by saying, "No, we're not close to bankruptcy." That merely reinforces the possibility you may very well be heading toward Chapter 11. Instead "bridge" to your key points.

3.) Bridging. The best way to answer a tough or negative question is to bridge to your key points by using such responses as, "On the contrary," or "Let me give you some background information before I address your question," or "I'll get to your question, but what you really need to know is..."

4.) Repeat your key message. As soon as you bridge, get right to your key message. So, when asked about bankruptcy, bridge with an "On the contrary" opening and follow it with "...We're really excited with our future prospects thanks to a great R&D pipeline and some new products I'd like to tell you about."

5.) You don't have to know every answer. If you're asked about financial performance, or any area in which you aren't confident in addressing, simply say, "I don't know the answer to that question, but I'll find out and get right back to you." Or if, say, you're asked a highly technical question, respond by saying, "I'm not an expert in that area of our business. Let me put you in contact with someone who is."

6.) Speak in a language everyone will understand. Every industry has its own slang or jargon. Avoid using "ConsultantSpeak" such as "We've just socialized that very issue, synthesized our approach, and have decided to sunset the project." Instead, just say, "We've decided to no longer manufacture that particular item."

7.) Never mention your competitors. If you're managing Coke and someone asks your POV on Pepsi, respond by saying, "I can't speculate on what the competition has done, but I can tell you what we're about to launch." Then revert immediately to your key points.

8.) Beware of hypothetical questions. If a prospect, employee or reporter begins a conversation by stating, "I hear ABC Widgets is planning to expand in a major way. Would you say that's the right move in today's era of uncertainty?" respond by saying, "You should go directly to ABC Widgets for the answer. I'd like to focus on three key items."

Remember that every conversation is a two-way street. The best way to navigate your way through a session of tough or negative questions is to be prepared with the tips mentioned above AND by having your key messages memorized.

You may never be as adept as Kellyanne Conway in squirming your way out of an interrogation-like conversation, but you CAN win that dialogue if you come prepared and follow the rules of the road.