A free workbook from Apropos Productions Ltd.
What makes good and bad presentations?
Planning, preparing and structuring our talk
Understanding how to use words, tone and body
language to deliver our message
Controlling our nerves
Opportunity to demonstrate your skills to help build
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 1
Whenever anyone stands up in front of another group of people, they are, in
effect, presenting themselves.
Whether this is in a formal business setting where one may be trying to
introduce a new product or service to a customer, or is simply a speech at a
family wedding, all can loosely be termed as presentations.
But who is the judge of whether a presentation is good and effective? Well,
the answer is straightforward - YOU!
We have all been witness to successful presentations and can all think of
people who make the art of presentation seem effortless.
In the space below, think of two examples of what you have considered to
be a successful presentation. It may be in work or outside. Also note why
you believed they were successful.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 2
Now think of two examples that were less successful. Use the space below
to detail some of the reasons why the presentations did not make a similar
impact to the two you have described on the previous page.
Therefore in your own mind, you can recognise what constitutes a
At this stage you may be feeling nervous about your first professional
presentation, but the key thing to remember is that all good presenters will
have been trained.
After all, good presenters are made, not born!
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 3
Communication during Presentations
Source: Albert Mehrabin, Harvard University
VHF channels (visual/hearing/feeling)
Whiteboards Videos, etc.
Posture and gestures
Eye contact and blink rate
TONE OF VOICE
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 4
Many first time presenters feel nervous for all sorts of reasons. Some
reasons that people feel nervous are as follows;
“I‟m afraid of drying up”
“I‟m afraid of making a fool of myself”
“I‟m worried my audience will catch me out”
“What if I lose my place?”
“I don‟t know what to say”
All these concerns are perfectly valid. The good news is that they can all be
handled through effective preparation.
But let‟s look at some of those reasons again and try to put these fears into
some sort of perspective.
A lot of the concerns centre around what is said. Now think back to the
two successful presentations that you highlighted earlier on in this book.
How much can you remember of what was actually said? How many words
can you actually remember?
In all likelihood the answer is probably not many. This is unsurprising.
After all think of some of the most famous political speeches. Dr Martin
Luther King‟s speech at the Washington Memorial is commonly known as
the “I have a dream speech”, but how much more can we remember of what
was actually said?
Yet the impact of such a speech has been huge in history.
Independent research has shown that when someone gives a spoken
message in the form of a presentation, the listener‟s understanding and
judgment of that message comes from the way they delivered it, rather than
what was said.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 5
HOW YOUR FEAR SHOWS UP!
In this section, make list of how fear shows up within you. How does it
manifest itself in your body and mind? Do you get dry mouth?
Butterflies? Does your mind go blank?
Make your list below?
Write down some practical ways to combat fear when presenting, thus
eventually allowing you to reduce your nerves.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 6
PHYSICAL FEELINGS AND ANXIETY
When the body goes into „Fight or Flight‟ mode, the following things happen:
Pounding Heart The heart beats stronger and faster to increase the blood flow to and from the
muscles. This blood contains oxygen and glucose to increase the efficiency of
the muscles in case fight is necessary. If we do not run away or have physical
activity, this results in alarming sensations.
Breathlessness The lungs work harder to increase oxygen to the muscles, and help us think
more clearly in threatening situations. If we cannot burn off the extra oxygen,
our blood gases become unbalanced, and we can feel dizziness, panic,
numbness or pain.
Tense/Shaky Muscles Our muscles automatically tense if we are anxious. Prolonged anxiety/tension
can lead to muscle pain, headache or backache. Not being able to react to a
threat can leave us weak or dizzy
Nausea/Digestive Our digestive system shuts down, so energy can be used for the „fighting‟
Problems muscles. We may vomit to clear food. Symptoms may include butterflies,
churning stomach, diarrhoea, the need to urinate. We may experience a dry
mouth and difficulty swallowing as body fluids are diverted to increase blood
Sweating/Blushing This is due to the increased blood flow to the muscles on the body‟s surface.
Cold/Pale Face This may be due to extreme shock/fear. Blood pressure may drop. (Not
everyone has this reaction)
Our eyesight sharpens to spot danger. Blurred vision may occur as eyes
Visual Disturbance readjust.
Persistent Long term unrelieved anxiety can leave us feeling worn out from the constant
Tiredness/Lethargy demands on our body. This may result in poor sleep, reduced resistance or
feelings of depression
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 7
Relaxation is an essential tool to beat stress and increase productivity. Relaxation also
decreases the production of adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and cholesterol. Relaxation has
also been shown to help treat some of the illnesses which are associated with chronic
stress. In 60 per cent of studies where psychological and cognitive changes have been
measured, it has shown that anxiety levels – as well as a number of symptomatic
complaints such as nervousness, sleeping difficulties, headaches and shortness of breath
– can be reduced using relaxation techniques.
Good posture is an essential pre-condition for relaxation. If you notice that your body is
held in a regular „hunch‟ most of the time (i.e. head bowed forward, limbs and fingers
tightly crossed or clenched), you might want to consult a qualified (and personally
recommended) practitioner such as a:
Alexander Technique teacher
Put both your feet firmly on the ground and slightly apart. Press your heels,
soles and toes downwards as far as possible to get full support for as much of the
surface area of your feet as possible.
Shrug your shoulders several times and then relax them into a comfortable
position, checking that they are not rounding forward.
Unclench and unwind all your limbs, allowing your hands to rest by your sides
or gently supported in your pockets.
Push you chin slightly forward until your eyes are looking out in a direct
Imagine that you have a strong fine thread running through your spine and that it is
being continuously pulled up through your head in a straight vertical line, to help
you maintain an upright position.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 8
If you can, choose a chair with a straight back and a head support
Uncross your legs and place them firmly on the ground as above. Put your
knees in a position so that your legs are held at an angle of 90 degrees.
Uncross your arms and hands and lay them loosely on your thighs.
Alternatively, some people like to put their hands in the position of Christian
prayer with the palms flat against each other. This is thought to be a very
stabilising position, and immediately conveys a non-verbal message to your
brain and others that you are in control of yourself. Other people like to
place their hands in the position of Buddhist meditation – their thumbs and
index fingers lightly touching, forming an „O‟.
Drop your shoulders and push gently back until they feel loose, straight and
Sit well back in the chair so that your weight is being supported by your
buttocks and there is little pressure on your coccyx at the base of your spine.
Imagine, as above, a thin wire running through your spine gently pulling your
back, neck and head into a straight upright position. If you have a head rest
you may need to adjust it to find the most supportive position. When
travelling, even for short distances, try to remember to take inflatable neck
and back support pillows. These (together with your eye-mask and earplugs)
will enable you to convert the most uncomfortable seating into your relaxing
Take a few moments to feel the support of the chair‟s back and seat and the
firmness of the ground beneath your feet. You should be able to imagine
your body melting into these surfaces. Some people also find it helpful to
imagine they are drawing up a supply of the energy which is deeply
embedded in the earth and has accumulated over the billions of years of
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 9
Once you have your posture right it is time to concentrate on the
pattern, regularity, depth and speed of your breathing.
There two important points to remember when you are doing
breathing exercises. The first is that you must make your
breathing slower, deeper and more regular than usual. The
second is that you should concentrate on the process, using
imagination to help you to follow the flow of air as it passes through
Slowly breathe in through your nose, expanding your lungs as fully as you can,
pushing your diaphragm down and your stomach out.
Hold your breath for five to ten seconds
Exhale slowly through your nose while lifting your diaphragm and bringing and
bringing your stomach in.
Repeat several times, each time taking slightly longer to compete the cycle and
trying to keep the passage of air flowing at a steady, even rate.
As you take a breath in, imagine that you are inhaling white energy. On your out-breath,
imagine that you are exhaling breath that is coloured orange. Every time a thought
comes into your mind, return the focus of your attention to these colours.
As you breathe in, imagine you are inhaling fresh revitalising energy. When you
exhale, imagine that you are breathing out your stress and tension.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 10
Active Neuromuscular Relaxation
Once your posture and breathing are right, you can begin to relax your body.
Active neuromuscular relaxation is achieved by first contracting and then relaxing each
of the major muscle groups in turn. This allows you to feel the difference between
contraction (tension) and relaxation. The idea is that, in the end, you will be able to
relax your muscles without going through the contracting phase, as you will know what
the difference feels like. However, this may take some time.
Remember while you are doing the exercise to keep your breathing deep, slw and
regular, and maintain a good posture.
Lift you eyebrows upwards as high as they will go, as you try to tense your scalp
muscles, and then relax them.
Close your eyes tight, as tight as you possibly can. Feel all the tension, and then
Curl your upper lip up to your nose. Feel the tension, then relax.
Do the same with your lower lip.
Curl up your tongue in your mouth, clench your teeth, then relax.
Move your jaw forwards and backwards.
At this stage, stop concentrating on your breathing and feel how relaxed your head is
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 11
Being There in the Moment Exercise
Standing for 30 seconds. Not as simple as it sounds. Take turns to stand in front of the
rest of the group, relaxed, confident and still. Find a neutral posture, your own „power
base‟. Start to enjoy the sense of expectation and power.
Personal Space Exercise
Stand with eyes level looking into the furthest point in the room, arms straight out in
front, palms together. Slowly open out arms to the fullest extent. Be aware of 180
degrees visibility; take in as much of the room (and therefore, later your audience) as
Preparing the Body Exercise
Shake Out Hands, feet, arms, back, whole body. Repeat, introducing sounds
Spinal Stretch Reach up as tall as possible to the ceiling for a count of 10.
Collapse the spine over the legs and shake out. Check the neck is
relaxed, head floppy, legs slightly bent. Rebuild the spine
vertebrae by vertebrae, very slowly (to a count of 20) starting with
the base and ending with the neck vertebrae. Repeat. Check
alignment between stretches.
Relaxation Work on head, neck, shoulders and arms, using slow rotations and
stretches to eliminate tension.
Preparing the Breath
The aim is to drop your breath as low as possible into the body. Stand with feet hip
distant apart. Feet should be parallel to one another and directly under your hips,
supporting your body weight.
Breathe gently with a steady rhythm. REMEMBER never lift the shoulders or upper
chest whilst breathing as this causes tension.
Place your hand on the diaphragm (just around the midriff), press and gently pant. This
will help you locate the diaphragm. Breathe in and allow your stomach muscles to
release. Exhale and release on a „s‟ sound – „sssss‟. When you are out of breath,
recover the breath. Repeat this three times.
Connect the breath to the voice. Sigh out, feeling the breath muscles working on the
ribs, diaphragm and stomach underneath the sound. Next breathe in and count: 1
breathe; 1,2 breathe; 1,2,3 breathe; up to a count of 10.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 12
Hum on any note but keep the feeling of a yawn in your throat as you do this. Your
throat should feel relaxed and more open. Do this for a minimum of one sustained
Fix your eyes on a point straight ahead, just above the horizon and hum down through
your range. While you are humming, think your energy up. Do not slump your body or
let your voice drop.
Place the voice forward and hum, then change to an „oo‟ sound. You should feel the
sound vibrating on the lips. Hum into your head, then into the nose, face and chest.
Move the voice round freely from one to another.
Speech Muscles Exercise
Move the lips; push them forwards; stretch them back; pucker them; blow through them.
Stretch the tongue in and out of your mouth, down over your chin.
Massage the face.
Practice these vowel sounds. OO…OH…AW…AY…EE.
Place H, P, B, T, D, K, G, M, N before the above vowel sounds.
Say Tongue Twisters
I saw Susie sitting in a shoe-shine shop. All day long she shines and sits and shine and
sits. I saw Susie sitting in a shoe-shine shop.
Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.
Unique New York, New York‟s unique.
Toy boat, boat toy.
The sixth sick sheik‟s sixth sheep‟s sick.
Betty Botter bought a bit of bitter butter. Betty Botter thought a bit of better butter
should be bought. She bought a better bit of butter, better butter than the bitter butter
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 13
With a partner say the sentence below and get your partner to listen and tell you what
they hear and what the difference is.
“Everyone who comes to London visits the Tower.”
Say the sentence once.
The second time, raise the pitch of the voice over the words London and Tower.
Repeat the sentence lowering the pitch over the same words.
Pause and Pace Exercise
Read the sentence aloud and get your partner to notice the dramatic effect.
“So remember if you book now, you will receive a 20% discount off the normal selling
“So remember…(pause)…if you book now…(pause)…you will receive (slowly) 20%
off (normal pace) the normal selling price.”
Pause and pace are really useful when you want to emphasise a special point or highlight
a feature or benefit.
Say these sentences aloud to your partner putting the emphasis on the highlighted words
and get them to tell you what they believe you are saying.
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
“She says this restaurant is the best in town.”
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 14
One of the oldest methods to help get rid of breathiness, is to hold a finger across the
lips and refuse to let air blow on the finger.. What you are trying to do is manage the
breath, not stop it!
While practicing this exercise you should feel:
Slight warmth against your finger – but not a draught!
A stretching inside the back of your mouth
A want to pull the tongue back and tense it. Not everyone will feel this; if you do it
is to be resisted.
A pressure, as if from the rib-cage, against the ribs; this is most felt at the sides of
The Vowel Chain Exercise
Take a short chain and say it vigorously until you‟re used to the sound, feel and
rhythm of it:
“Get out of here, Charlie!”
Put a finger on your lips lightly as you say this, so you can feel the vibrations in the
Gradually drop the consonants until you are left with a chain of vowels, each joined
to the next without a break but pronounced with the rhythm of the complete words:
Now make sure the vowel-stream is well tuned. You should feel hardly anything but
a gentle warmth on your finger. When the resonance is full and rich the
mouth/throat resonator is properly open and you will be using the voice in a properly
Now gradually let the consonants come back into the phrase, but with the minimum
action possible for light clear articulation, and keep the full resonation of the voice.
Think of the vowels as flowing one into the other almost as if you were not making
the consonants at all. Still your finger should merely feel gentle warmth – no
blowing and puffing. In this way the resonating space is kept open, particularly at
the back of the mouth, and the supported voice stream is performing most of the
Exercise: Definition of words
Some of these exercises may feel too elaborately over-spoken, but bear with them so
that you can exercise the speaking of the whole word.
Starting Words Learn to put more energy at the start of a word in order to
launch it into the space; say „three‟, „big‟, „pat‟, „dig‟.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 15
Multi-syllabic Words Speak all parts of a word, including the middle. Many of
us skid through these longer words but each part of the word, even the unstressed
sections, should be defined: say „multi-syllabic‟, „integrity‟, „wisdom‟, „abundance‟,
„delight‟, „courage‟, „flexibility‟. Take these words to piece and make sure you are
saying each and every part of the word, then speed up the definition.
Ends of Words:
Remember that clarity of speaking is married to need. Say these:
Ward NOT Wart
End NOT Ent
Dead NOT Deat
Love NOT Lof
Live NOT Lif
Breath NOT Breaf or brea
Death NOT Deaf or dea
Scrub NOT Scrup
Rub NOT Rup
Singing NOT Singin
Laughing NOT Laughin
Speaking NOT Speakin
Hat NOT Ha
Hit NOT Hi
Paws „s‟ is a „z‟
Doors „s‟ is a „z‟
Shuns „s‟ is a „z‟
Gives „s‟ is a „z‟
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 16
PREPARING YOUR PRESENTATION
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail”
Preparation is key to the success of your presentation. Even some very
experienced presenters come unstuck when they decide to “wing it”.
However, preparation is much more than just deciding what you are going
to say. A whole range of variables need to be prepared for as part of the
In order to prepare, we should always think about answering the 5 “Ws”.
Why are you giving this presentation? What is your agenda and what are
you hoping to achieve from it?
It could be to sell a product or service either internally or externally, or it
could be to introduce a new idea or concept to an organisation. It may be an
update in company procedures or imparting knowledge as part of a training
What is my objective? What do I want the outcome to be? Although fairly
closely linked to the “why” stage, it is important to be clear in your mind
what the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time
Bound) objectives actually are.
Do you want them to buy something from you? In which case, how much
and in what period of time?
Answering these questions will help to give you the focus for your
presentation and should be the overall driving force behind your talk.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 17
When making a presentation to your audience it is important to understand
who they are and what their objectives and needs are from the presentation.
It is highly likely that whatever the subject area, you will be directly or
indirectly selling something to your audience.
Basic sales principles teach us that before you can sell, you must establish a
need. By the time you come to make your presentation this need should be
completely established, as this is your opportunity to sell whatever message
it is that you want to get across.
Some questions you may wish to ask yourself about the audience are;
What is their level of knowledge or authority?
Why are they there and what do they expect?
What do they want to know?
Are they internal or external?
Are they there voluntarily?
How many people will be there?
Answering these questions will help to focus your presentation towards
their needs. Think back to your school days - it is likely that the subjects
you excelled in were the ones that were interesting or met the needs of your
Focusing on the needs of your audience is paramount. In order to do this
one needs to be continuously selling the features (facts about your product
or service), together with the benefits (the relevance to your audience).
The venue of the presentation is also important in the preparation stage.
As the presenter you effectively “own” the venue, so organising the areas
you have control over is vital to the levels of comfort for your audience.
Obviously, you do not want to tamper with fixtures and fittings, but the set
up of the room should be conducive to the message you are trying to
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 18
Some areas that are worth considering when thinking about the venue are;
What size is the room? If it is a larger size room, am I likely to need a
How will I position my visual aids, so that they are visible to the whole
audience and positioned so that I can change them easily?
Is the room‟s temperature suitable? Stuffy or cold atmospheres are likely
to distract from the message.
Are there any visual distractions (eg windows onto streets or busy
What is the seating plan and is it likely to be comfortable for your
audience for the duration of the presentation?
Decide when in the day is going to be best in order to get your message
The best time to give a presentation is first thing in the morning. At this
time, people are fresher, have had less time to think about other issues and
are much more likely to concentrate.
Always give prior notice together with any preparation that you wish the
audience to make.
Immediately before or after lunch
Speaking for longer than 20 minutes if at all possible
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 19
STRUCTURING YOUR PRESENTATION
Once you have answered the five key questions posed by the 5 “Ws”, one
can then move onto thinking about what you actually want to say.
Simply brainstorm. Get all your ideas down on paper. It doesn‟t matter at
this stage what order they come in or how they sound, you can refine those
By brainstorming you will probably find that you have more than enough
information and perhaps too much.
Now you need to refine the message. Carefully select what you are going to
say according to two of the key principles that we established earlier-
What you want to say
What your audience wants to hear
Once you have decided which material to use, then you can go onto plan
your presentation in a structure.
An old adage in presentations training is;
Tell them what you‟re going to tell them
Tell them what you‟ve just told them
In essence structures to professional presentations are no more difficult than
that. But all will have a clearly defined beginning, middle and end.
It is probably best to decide what you are going to say in the middle or body
of your talk. This will then make the writing of the introduction and
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 20
However, for ease of learning, we will look at the structure in a
The introduction is key to establishing the themes and tone of your
presentation. This will be easier if you have thoroughly researched your
The key elements of the introduction so that you establish control early are;
The Attention Grabber
Although it is perfectly acceptable to introduce yourself, it may have more
impact if you introduce a theme at an early stage of the presentation.
Effective weapons in the presenter‟s armoury here are quotations (avoiding
the more clichéd variety), statistics, visual aids or introducing a story theme
which could be built in as a continuous theme throughout the presentation.
One may also wish to use humour or ask a rhetorical question which will
once again focus the minds of the audience.
The aim here is to establish attention quickly and get the audience to come
Introduce Yourself, Your Colleagues, Your Company/Department
Once you have established the theme, then introduce yourself and any
colleagues you may be presenting alongside. Always use your first and
surname - this is professional, and even if the presentation is internal you
should never assume that everyone knows you.
It may also be useful here to give some biographical details on yourself, in
order to further increase your credibility.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 21
Signpost Your Audience
Make it explicit what you are trying to achieve and what your objectives
As we saw earlier 38% of the overall message is made up of how the
communication is said and how easy it is to listen to.
The structure may well be clear to you as the presenter, but your audience
will not be able to follow the presentation unless you tell them what is
coming up. Its a bit like being told what‟s on television that evening at 7 pm
- that way you are able to chart your own course through your viewing.
Another useful analogy is imagining that the audience are listening to a
blind book, and essentially you are reading the contents to them.
This will give the audience a certain level of comfort and make connecting
points easier to follow.
Verbal ways to signpost could be;
“Firstly, secondly, thirdly…..”
“My next point is…”
You may also consider using rhetorical questions as a way of creating
banner headlines for your audience, letting them know that you are
The key to effective signposting is that it must be consistent. Certainly it is
important that the signposting is clear in this introductory stage, but it must
be continuous, otherwise you will lose your audience later. Non-verbal
techniques such as gestures and silences are also useful for signposting.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 22
Tell your audience how long it will take
After signposting your audience, tell them how long the presentation will
take. This will add to the levels of comfort and stop your audience
Introduce a Questions Policy
To many inexperienced presenters, questions from the audience are likely to
be a worrying area.
Remember - you are in control. It is perhaps advisable to invite questions
only at the end of your presentation. This way you minimise the risk of
being tripped up, or having your structure dragged hopelessly out of
More experienced presenters may decide to take questions during the
presentation itself (e.g. in training), but the maintenance of control and
adherence to your structure will be essential if the overall presentation is to
be deemed a success.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 23
An Intro as simple as ABCD
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 24
2. BODY OF THE PRESENTATION
The body of the presentation is represented by the acronym POP. Taking
each of these in turn.
THE “POP” STRUCTURE
In this area, the presentation should demonstrate an understanding of the
audience‟s current position and should also summarise the problems
associated with a particular situation.
It is likely that this will be a summary of problems uncovered as part of the
Having highlighted the problems associated with a certain situation, it will
then be necessary to present a number of options to your audience.
These options should be outlined as objectively as possible, with the
advantages and disadvantages of each option being clearly explained.
Finally, you will want to make the proposal to your audience.
This will be the main selling point of your presentation and is the point that
you will want your audience to think about.
It is key at this stage to outline what is in it for the audience by making such
a choice and by highlighting the relevant features and benefits of making
such a choice (including an indication of any costs).
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 25
Tell your audience what you have told them. Take perhaps the three main
needs and then highlight the three key solutions that your presentation has
Perhaps also re-iterate the proposal and its features, advantages and
If only 7% of the overall message is to be made up of words, then it is
highly likely that what you say in your conclusion will make up the bulk of
Choose your words carefully and keep it short and simple. Do not over
complicate your message.
Your aim at this stage should be to send your audience away with some
thought stimulation or a call to action. Much like your opening remarks
(primacy), your audience will remember what you say last on the basis of
Thank your audience for their time
Always remember at the end of your presentation to invite questions from
It is quite natural that you may have to wait for questions, so be sure to give
your audience plenty of time. Scan the room with your eyes, perhaps
prompting from individuals or mentioning subject areas once again.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 26
The most successful presentations will have a level of spontaneity and
fluency to them. When your audience come to a presentation, they are not
expecting a speech. There must be that level of interaction between the
presenter and the audience.
To assist with this, always use cards as prompts for your presentation. Not
only can you hold them easily in your hands, but rather than reading you
will also merely use them for prompts.
They will also allow you to move more easily, reduce psychological
barriers between you and your audience, and disguise any nerves you may
still be feeling.
Some golden tips for using cards are;
Use as many cards as you like
Always number your cards in the top right hand corner - that way if
disaster does strike you will be able to re-organise yourself quickly
Only write on one side
Use capital letters at all times
Don‟t write more than you need - these are merely prompts
Use colour, highlighters, underlining to make key points stand out
Use bullet points
Don‟t fidget with the cards during the presentation
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 27
Make eye contact with your audience at all times. Sweep the room
like a lighthouse, staying only 2-3 seconds on each person. This will
give each participant the impression that you are speaking to him/her
personally and ensure that you keep their attention.
Avoid looking at one person in particular (usually the friendly face!)
or some non threatening point on the floor or wall.
Don‟t read your notes
Exaggerate body movements and verbal emphasis
Pause often - silence allows points to sink in and your audience to
Use intelligent humour
Be enthusiastic - if you‟re not why should your audience be?
Don‟t drop your voice
Avoid jargon - use simple language
Project your voice
Keep your gestures big and bold and make them visible to your
Rehearse your presentation, planning inflection of important areas
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 28
“A picture paints a thousand words”
Visual aids are there to support your presentation, not to be the basis of it.
It is important that words are kept to an absolute minimum - use words and
people will read them. The disadvantage to you is that unless they are
animated (using PowerPoint, for example), your audience will be ahead of
you in the presentation.
Do use plenty of symbols and pictures
Use lots of colour to stimulate the visual perception
Use bar charts, histograms and pie charts to demonstrate figures
Remember KISS - Keep It Short and Simple
Always remove the visual aid when you have finished using it
Always check your visual aids prior to the presentation and rehearse
using the equipment you are planning to use
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 29
The following is a list of word popular with advertisers and top sales
people. Use them in your presentations, on the telephone, and in written
correspondence. These universal key words will evoke the same feelings
toward your product that advertisers have been evoking expertly for
1. Discover. In the 1980‟s, Sears Financial Services came out with
the first credit card to seriously challenge the dominance of
Amex, Visa and MasterCard. It was called Discover. Sears chose
a word that would generate interest, evoke a feeling of
opportunity and suggest a better life.
2. Good. “As good as mother used to make”; “It‟s good for you”.
Good is not a high-powered word, and that is the secret of its
success. It evokes stability and security. And by extension, it it‟s
good, it‟s not bad. Everyone wants to be associated with what is
3. Money. Few people feel they have enough, and everybody wants
4. Easy. What everyone wants is simplicity and the ability to do
things more easily. If your product can make something easier for
would-be purchasers, they will be more to buy it.
5. Guaranteed. One of the fears most human beings have is taking a
risk. They want to know that if your product doesn‟t work out,
they can get their money back.
6. Health. Remember the expression, “If I‟ve got my health, I‟ve
got everything”? If a product promotes financial, emotional or
physical health, it offers a big plus. To many people, this is even
more important than money.
7. Love. Many companies make enormous amounts of money
selling love. Whether it is dating services or vacations for single
people, love is always a prime selling hook.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 30
8. New. If it‟s new, it must be better. It‟s a tried and true concept.
Unless a product is specifically targeted to evoke nostalgia anyone
who tries to sell something old-fashioned meets with limited
9. Proven. Although we like new things, we want reliability as well.
We want something that has been tested and proven not to be
harmful in any way. We also don‟t want something that will
break down or require a lot of servicing. We don‟t want to about
that something will work.
10. Results. Although we may mouth the words, underneath we don‟t
care about trying hard and putting forth our best efforts if we
don‟t see results. We want to know exactly what we‟re getting for
spending our money.
11. Safe. This closely parallels health. We all value our lives, and if
a product is safe, or our assets are safe, we are much more
12. Save. Saving money is almost as important as making money.
13. Own. We all like to own things. Owning is better than buying,
because it implies possession rather than more spending. When
you present a product, talk about owning it rather than buying it.
14. Free. We love to say you can‟t get something for nothing, but we
don‟t believe it. “FREE” is an instant eye catcher, something that
compels you to look further. If you can use free in any selling for
nothing, use it. You‟ll get your customer‟s attention immediately.
15. Best. If you know that a product has been shown to be the best in
any way, shape, or form, be sure your customer is made aware of
Other useful words include:
Promise Simple Protected Secure
Effortless Keep Retain Strength
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 31
KING HENRY V
France. Before Harfleur
1. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
2. Or close the wall up with our English dead.
3. In peace there‟s nothing so becomes a man
4. As modest stillness and humility.
5. But when the blast of war blows in our ears
6. Then imitate the action of the tiger.
7. Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
8. Disguise fair nature with hard-favour‟d rage.
9. Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.
10. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
11. Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
12. To his full height. On, on, you noblest English
13. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
14. Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
15. That those whom you call‟d fathers did beget you.
16. Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
17. And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman
18. Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
19. The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
20. That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not,
21. For there is none of you so mean and base
22. That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
23. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips
24. Straining upon the start. The game‟s afoot.
25. Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
26. Cry „God for Harry, England, and Saint George!‟
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 32
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought,
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do anything, he thinks no ill
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 33
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, - and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 34
Skimbleshanks: the Railway Cat T.S. Eliot
There‟s a whisper down the line at 11.39
When the Night Mail‟s ready to depart
Saying “Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can‟t start”
All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster‟s daughters
They are searching high and low,
Saying “Skimble where is Skimble for unless he‟s very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can‟t go.”
At 11.42 then the signal‟s nearly due
And the passengers are frantic to a man –
Then Skimble will appear and he‟ll saunter to the rear:
He‟s been busy in the luggage van!
He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes
And the signal goes “All Clear!”
And we‟re off at last for the northern part
Of the Northern Hemisphere!
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 35
The Road Not Taken Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 36
"I have a dream..." - Martin Luther King
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the
greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and
tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of
you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered
by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the
faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go
back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of
our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends -
so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a
dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true
meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former
slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together
at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering
with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be
transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content
of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with
its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and
nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black
girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as
sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 37
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and
mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the
crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be
revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this
faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our
nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be
able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail
together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom
ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let
freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from
every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from every mountainside.
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring
- when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state
and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's
children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and
Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro
spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 38
“women's rights are…” – Hillary Rodham Clinton
This is truly a celebration - a celebration of the contributions women make
in every aspect of life: in the home, on the job, in their communities, as
mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens and leaders.
It is also a coming together, much the way women come together every day
in every country.
We come together in fields and in factories. In village markets and
supermarkets. In living rooms and board rooms.
Whether it is while playing with our children in the park, or washing
clothes in a river, or taking a break at the office water cooler, we come
together and talk about our aspirations and concerns. And time and again,
our talk turns to our children and our families. However different we may
be, there is far more that unites us than divides us. We share a common
future. And we are here to find common ground so that we may help bring
new dignity and respect to women and girls all over the world - and in so
doing, bring new strength and stability to families as well.
Let them listen to the voices of women in their homes, neighborhoods, and
There are some who wonder whether the lives of women and girls matter to
economic and political progress around the globe.
Let them look at the women gathered here and at Huairou - the
homemakers, nurses, teachers, lawyers, policymakers, and women who run
their own businesses.
It is conferences like this that compel governments and people everywhere
to listen, look and face the world's most pressing problems.
Over the past 25 years, I have worked persistently on issues relating to
women, children and families. Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have
had the opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing women in my
own country and around the world.
I have met new mothers in Jojakarta, Indonesia, who come together
regularly in their village to discuss nutrition, family planning, and baby
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 39
Women comprise more than half the world's population. Women are 70%
percent of the world's poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to
read and write.
Women are the primary caretakers for most of the world's children and
elderly. Yet much of the work we do is not valued - not by economists, not
by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders.
At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving
birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses,
planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running
Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or
treated; they are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by
poverty and economic deprivation; they are being denied the right to go to
school by their own fathers and brothers; they are being forced into
prostitution, and they are being barred from the bank lending office and
banned from the ballot box.
No one should be forced to remain silent for fear of religious or political
persecution, arrest, abuse or torture.
As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace around
the world - as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last,
overworked, underpaid, not schooled and subjected to violence in and out
of their homes - the potential of the human family to create a peaceful,
prosperous world will not be realized.
Let this Conference be our - and the world's - call to action.
And let us heed the call so that we can create a world in which every
woman is treated with respect and dignity, every boy and girl is loved and
cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable
Thank you very much.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 40
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
The reason they want to see me is that I am a celebrated
murderess. Or that is what has been written down. When I first
saw it I was surprised, because they say Celebrated Singer and
Celebrated Poetess and Celebrated Spiritualist and Celebrated
Actress, but what is there to celebrate about murder? All the same,
Murderess is a strong word to have attached to you. It has a smell
to it, that word – musky and oppressive, like dead flowers in a
vase. Sometimes at night I whisper it over to myself: Murderess,
Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt across the floor.
Murderer is merely brutal. It‟s like a hammer, or a lump of metal.
I would rather be a murderess than a murderer, if those are the
I think of all the things that have been written about me – that I
am an inhuman female demon, that I am an innocent victim of a
blackguard forced against my will and in danger of my own life,
that I have blue eyes, that I have green eyes, that I have auburn
and also brown hair, that I am tall and also not above average
height, that I am well and decently dressed, that I robbed a dead
woman to appear so, that I am brisk and smart about my work,
that I am of sullen disposition with a quarrelsome temper, that I
am a good girl with a pliable nature, that I am cunning and
devious, that I am fond of animals. And I wonder, how can I be all
of these different things at once?
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 41
Fever Pitch – Nick Hornby
As I get older the tyranny that football exerts over my life, and
therefore over the lives of people around me, is less reasonable
and less attractive. Family and friends know that the fixture list
always has the last word in any arrangement; they understand that
football is a disability that has to be worked around. If I were
wheelchair bound, nobody close to me would organise anything in
a top floor flat, so why would they plan anything for a winter
But it gets worse. There are the unpredictable Cup replays, the
rearranged midweek fixtures… And sometimes hurting someone
is unavoidable. The Charlton game was rearranged for the same
night as a very close friend‟s birthday party, a party to which only
five people had been invited. I panicked. Then I phoned her with a
heavy heart to tell her what had happened. I was hoping for a
laugh and absolution, but I got neither, and from the sound of her
voice, from the tiredness and impatience it contained, I understood
that I wasn‟t going to. Instead, she said one of those awful things,
“You must do what you think is right”, something like that, and I
said that I‟d have to think about it, but we both knew that I wasn‟t
going to think about it at all, that I had been exposed as the
worthless shallow worm that I was, and I went to the game. I was
glad I went, too. Paul Davis scored one of the best goals I have
seen at Highbury, a diving header after he‟d sprinted the length of
the pitch following a Charlton attack!
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 42
„I warn you‟ – Neil Kinnock
If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as Prime Minister, I warn you.
I warn you that you will have pain –
When healing and relief depend on payment.
I warn you that you will have ignorance –
When talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and
not a right .
I warn you that you will have poverty –
When pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a Government that won‟t
pay in an economy that can‟t pay.
I warn you that you will be cold –
When fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don‟t notice and the poor
I warn you that you must not expect work –
When many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don‟t earn,
they don‟t spend. When they don‟t spend, work dies.
I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large
crowds of protest in the light.
I warn you that you will be quiet –
When the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.
I warn you that you will have defence of a sort –
With a risk and a price that passes all understanding.
If Margaret Thatcher wins, she will be more a Leader than a Prime Minister. That
power produces arrogance and when it is toughened by Tebbitry and flattered and
fawned upon by spineless sycophants, the boot-licking tabloid Knights of Fleet
Street and placemen in Quangos, the arrogance corrupts absolutely.
If Margaret Thatcher wins –
I warn you not to be ordinary.
I warn you not be young.
I warn you not to fall ill.
I warn you not to get old.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 43
„kill or vote‟ – Emmiline Pankhurst
I am not here to advocate woman suffrage. American suffragists can do that
very well for themselves. I am here as a soldier who has temporarily left the
field of battle in order to explain – it seems strange that it should have to be
explained – what civil war is like when civil war is waged by women. I am
not only here as a soldier; I am here – and that, I think is the strangest part
of my coming – I am here as a person who, according to the law courts of
my country, it has been decided, is of no value to the community at all; and
I am adjudged because of my life to be a dangerous person, under sentence
of penal servitude in a convict prison.
It is about eight years since the word militant was first used to describe
what we were doing; it is about eight years since the first militant action
was taken by women. It was not militant at all except that it provoked
militancy on the part of those who were opposed to it. When women asked
questions in political meetings and failed to get answers, they were not
doing anything militant. To ask questions is an acknowledged right of all
people who attend public meetings; certainly in my country, men have
always done it, and I hope they do it in America, because it is your citizen
right and duty.
The first people who were put out of a political meeting for asking
questions were women; they were brutally ill-used; they found themselves
in jail before twenty four hours had expired. They actually said it was the
women who were militant and very much to blame. “Put them in prison,”
they said; “that will stop it.” But it didn‟t stop it. Instead of the women
giving it up, more women did it, and more and more and more women did it
until there were three hundred women at a time, who had not broken a
single law, only “made a nuisance of themselves” as the politicians say.
Now, I want to say to you who think women cannot succeed, we have
brought the government of England to this position, that it has to face this
alternative; either women are to be killed or women are to have the vote.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 44
„Londoners will not be divided‟ – Ken Livingstone
I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a
terrorist attack on the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at
presidents or prime ministers.
It was aimed at ordinary, working class Londoners, black and white,
Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old.
It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any
considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.
That isn‟t an ideology, it isn‟t even a perverted faith. It is just an
indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is.
They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each
I said yesterday to the International Olympic Committee that the city of
London is the greatest in the world because everybody lives side-by-side in
Londoners will not be divided by the cowardly attack. They will stand
together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who
have been bereaved and that is why I‟m proud to be mayor of that city.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 45
Real Food –(Garlic) - Nigel Slater
Running out of garlic would be as unthinkable as running out of salt, pepper
or olive oil. I love the taste of it roasted. It emerges from the oven as sticky,
golden nuggets – sweet, mellow and as soft as butter. A whole head of
summer garlic, split through the centre, drizzled with everyday olive oil and
scattered with thyme leaves, takes on an especially mild sweetness. Sweet
enough to spread on toast.
Dry winter garlic, still plump and without any green shoots, will roast
successfully too, though I blanch mine in boiling water first for a milder
flavour. After nearly an hour in a hot oven it should be soft enough to
squash between your fingers. It is pure pleasure to squeeze a button of
caramelised garlic from its skin. It slips out with one little squeeze.
This is when the cloves can be stirred into the pan juices of roast lamb or
pork or dropped into the rich sauce of a casserole half-way through
cooking. Mash them to an ivory ointment with flakes of sea salt in a pestle
and mortar and you have a thick, honey-hued butter to do with as you will.
Real Food - (Ice Cream) – Nigel Slater
There is something magical about ices. The most minute spoonful can
evoke a memory so clearly. That tiny expensive sorbetto di limone at a
grand, flaking bar in Venice; a lick of an ice-cream wafer at the English
seaside; the melting pistachio ices in the heat of Athens in the summer; the
long, furrowed whirl of a Mr. Whippy from a van; or a gelatinous,
marshmallow-textured saffron ice from a Lebanese grocery. Or the semi-
freddo I ate at midnight, sitting on the pavement in Florence, long ago and
hopelessly in love.
Perhaps my passion for ices is partly a nostalgia thing. Or perhaps I just
crave the tingle of a mango sorbet on my tongue or the snap of thin
chocolate on a choc-ice. Or could it be that a tub of ice-cream is something
I can eat without taking my eyes off the television screen? Whatever, ice-
cream is a passion, whether it is the ones I make at home in the freezer
compartment of my fridge from fresh eggs, thick cream and ripe fruit, or a
deep, thick glass full of a spectacularly vulgar sundae, or just the tiniest
spoonful of vanilla ice with my espresso.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 46
Race Anger „not this time‟ – Barack Obama
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of
Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. Given my background,
my politics and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those
for whom that is not enough. Why did I not join another church?
Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity
embodies the community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom,
the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches,
Trinity‟s services are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that
may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the
kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and shocking ignorance, the
struggles and successes, the love and, yes, the bitterness and bias that make
up the black experience in America.
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. I
can no more disown him than I can disown my own black community. I can
no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who
helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman
who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman
who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street
and who on more than on occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes
that made me cringe.
For the men and women of Reverend Wright‟s generation, the memories of
humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away.
That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or
white friends. But it does find a voice in the barbershop or around the
kitchen table. At times that anger is exploited by politicians to gin up votes
along racial lines or to make up for a politician‟s own failings.
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community.
Most working and middle-class white Americans don‟t feel that they have
been particularly privileged by their race. As far as they‟re concerned no
one‟s handed them anything, they‟ve built it from scratch.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 47
This is where we are right now. It‟s a racial stalemate we‟ve been stuck in
But what we know – what we have seen – is that America can change. That
is the true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us
hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds
conflict and cynicism. We can tackle race only as a spectacle or as fodder
for the nightly news.
That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come
together and say, “Not this time”.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 48
The Dead – James Joyce
She was fast asleep.
Gabriel, leaning on his elbow, looked for a few moments on her tangled
hair and half open-mouth, listening to her deep-drawn breath. So she had
had that romance in her life: a man had died for her sake. It hardly pained
him at all to think how poor a part he, her husband, had played in her life.
He watched her while she slept as though he and she had never lived
together as man and wife. His curious eyes rested long upon her face and on
her hair: and as he thought of what she must have been then, in that time of
her first girlish beauty, a strange friendly pity for her entered his soul. He
did not like to say even to himself that her face was no longer beautiful but
he knew it was no longer the face for which Michael Furey had braved
death. Perhaps she had not told him all the story.
The air of the room chilled his shoulders. He stretched himself cautiously
along the sheets and lay down beside his wife.
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun
to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling
obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his
journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all
over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the
treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen, and father westward,
softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too,
upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey
lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on
the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly
as he heard the snow falling faintly though the universe and faintly falling,
like the descent of their last end, upon the living and the dead.
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 49
„the lady‟s not for turning‟ – Margaret Thatcher
A great nation is the voluntary creation of its people – a people composed
of men and women whose pride in themselves is founded on the knowledge
of what they can give to a community of which they in turn can be proud.
If our people feel that they are part of a great nation and they are prepared
to will the means to keep it great, a great nation we shall be, and shall
So what can stop us from achieving this? What then stands in our way?
The prospect of another winter of discontent? I suppose it might. But I
prefer to believe that certain lessons have been learned from experience,
that we are coming, slowly, painfully, to an autumn of understanding. And
I hope that it will be followed by a winter of common sense. If it is not, we
shall not be diverted from our course.
To those waiting with baited breath for that favourite media catchphrase,
the “U” turn, I have only one thing to say: “You turn if you want to. The
lady‟s not for turning”.
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 50
„the future doesn‟t belong to the faint hearted‟ - Ronald Reagan
Written by Peggy Noonan. A few hours after the spectacular Challenger
space shuttle disaster, President Reagan delivered this address to the
Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible
accident on the ground. But we‟ve never lost an astronaut in flight; we‟ve
never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we‟ve forgotten the courage it
took for the crew of the shuttle; but they, the Challenger Seven, were aware
of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn
seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnick, Ronald
McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We
mourn their loss as a nation together.
For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of
this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we‟re thinking about you so very
much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special
grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge and I‟ll meet it
We‟ve grown used to wonders this century. It‟s hard to dazzle us. But for
twenty-five years the United States space programme has been doing just
that. We‟ve grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that
we‟ve only just begun. We‟re still pioneers. They, the members of the
Challenger crew, were pioneers.
And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were
watching the live coverage of the shuttle‟s takeoff. I know it‟s hard to
understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It‟s all part of the
process of exploration and discovery. The future doesn‟t belong to the
fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us
into the future, and we‟ll continue to follow them…
Apropos Productions Ltd. firstname.lastname@example.org 51
„their finest hour‟ – Winston Churchill
We do not yet know what will happen in France or whether the French
resistance will be prolonged, both in France and in the French Empire
overseas. The House will have read the historic declaration in which, at the
desire of many Frenchmen – and of our own hearts – we have proclaimed
our willingness at the darkest hour in French history to conclude a union of
common citizenship in this struggle. However matters may go in France or
with the French Government, or other French Governments, we in this
island and in the British Empire will never lose our sense of comradeship
with the French people. If we are now called upon to endure what they
have been suffering, we shall emulate their courage, and if final victory
rewards our toils they shall share the gains, aye, and freedom shall be
restored to all. We abate nothing of our just demands: not one jot or tittle do
we recede. Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians have joined their
causes to our own. All these shall be restored.
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. The Battle of
Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian
civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of
our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy
must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us
in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be
free and the life of the world, including the United States, including all that
we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age
made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted
science. Let us therefore brace ourselves that, if the British Empire and its
Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their
Apropos Productions Ltd. email@example.com 52