Pennies Not Making Sense

Your typical smart tv setting prop table shared between interviewer and interviewee.

Can you spot what's in the middle?

It's a puddle of pennies.

Freshy tipped out from the now empty tumbler behind it.

101 coins left there, on show throughout the final twenty-five minutes of the half-hour interrogation.

Let's see how they got there.

I spotlight them above. As they quietly loitered for five minutes. Hidden in the shadows. Behind a chair leg, on the floor.

Here's the widescreen scenery.

Before the glassware was plucked for its star turn.

Given a little shake. The rattle a neat touch. Before contents duly poured onto centre stage.

The politician showing rare glimmer of personality, the punchline comes with questioner taking out from his pocket a handful of coppers, plucking an extra single penny.

The forty seconds of speech used here I place in the footer below for reference.

The aim was to expose a particular election promise as tiny.

A piece of theatre. Which when raided sparingly, can have useful and distinctive affect.

Here though, whilst being good for the unusual and non-routine jolt to the senses from which recall blossoms, the heap left was not really doing any visual favours. Neither to overall volume, nor showing the single extra one in comparison. Not even effort to place upturned glass conspicuously large over the 'small point'. Or popping said single penny on top.

There are other ways to demonstrate a paltry one per cent. Take a blank sheet of paper. Hazard a guess (already pre-deduced) as to what a single spot would be in size. As if part of an invisible waffle chart (aka unit chart, in 10x10 style). Colour it in, tear it off, stick it on show.

If on a video call, add in to push right up against your webcam.

The way such negligible amounts stick in the mind, is often through atomisation. Breaking them down so that you make them equivalent to a tiny number. One that strikes the listener with quite how absurdly small we're actually talking.

Any visual reinforcement is welcome. Just make sure it makes your impact.

40 seconds, 100 words, 6 (at least) gestures:

(intro-ing published manifesto commitments to the NHS aka National Health Service)

Big sounding promise.

Two million extra NHS appointments a year.

There were around a hundred and fifty million appointments last year.

So two million extra isn't very much.

And let me just illustrate that in terms of the budget of the NHS.

Big Numbers. Hard to grasp.

[reaches for glass]

So what I've got in here [rattles tumbler] is the NHS budget.

A hundred pennies to illustrate it.

[empties pennies onto table]

Let's do that. There's the NHS budget.

So how much more is [person being interviewed] promising?

[pulls out of his pocket a handful of more pennies]

There we are.

Not even one penny.

[grabs one penny from palm, holds aloft between forefinger and thumb]

Not even one percent of the budget that you're adding. It's a small promise.

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