Applying POPBEANS: A for Actions

This can be a tricky section. It is always possible to think of an action related to the subject of our speech. In this section, however, you can talk of people’s perceptions and attitudes or reactions in general to the subject of your speech. As a speaker, you can talk of love, affection or even repulsion and fear for a topic like ‘pets’. You can talk of how the subject of the speech conveys different attitudes or reactions of people.

For example, ‘black out’ can mean loss of light and also shock. ‘He suffered a black-out on learning about his best friend’s tragic death.’ This way, we have used the color ‘black’ as a means to convey an emotion. The sentence ‘The earth was red after the war’, conveys acts of bloodshed and war through the usage of the color red. There are multiple ways by which you can convey actions, reactions, perceptions, and attitudes using the subject of your speech. This is one section where we can bring in metaphors and idioms as well.

Let’s take a look at a sample script using the topic ‘black’.

If we talk of psychology, black conveys clarity with no nuances. It also communicates elegance, sophistication, and unflinching excellence. People also react differently with the color black as compared to other colors. Black, to some people, implies weight. Many people consider a black box to be heavier than a white box, even if they weigh the same.

People also detest burying a dead person in black. It is a popular belief that a woman buried wearing black colored dress will return to haunt the family. If we talk of black comedy, it means creating comedy out of tragic events, which is sometimes not found appropriate by many people. People also call a person as ‘black sheep’, if that person is of a bad character in an otherwise respectable group.

Aztecs considered black as a symbol of war and used it signify battle. Black is often equated to honor and dignity as well. In martial arts, black is the highest color of the belt and signifies expertise. On the other hand, a person voting against someone furtively to keep another person from joining the club, it is called ‘blackballing’.

People also use the word ‘blackmail’ to denote the act of demanding payment or action by the means of threat. Black money is used by people to denote money earned through illegal means and hence, is used by people to throw allegations at others. Thus, black most often denotes some negative perception or action.