One thing I would try to clear up at the very begging is Ukemi.
I showed a video of Christian Tissier to my dad the other day from you tube...(the recent 2008 demo) and it seemed that he thought it looked cool, but fake. (though it could be that he was soley referring to some Hungarian Aikido clips I showed him.)
Point is, that is what a lot of people think...that somone taps you and then that person just drops down for no reason.
The concept that both sides are learning isnt immediate - people are used to one sided training...i.e., "a" beats "b"s brains out - end of story.
So when they see Aikido they dont realize that Ukemi is self defense in and of itself, and that if people dont take ukemi, although it might not look as pretty, someones joint will probably be out of place.
That seems to be key.
And this concept would ride in with the teachings you give to new students...basically explaining that this stuff takes time to do properly and so it may seem somewhat ineffective at the beginning.
My instructor told my wife something when I first joined, he said most people quit after 4-6 months when they get the basic techniques, as they dont believe they could ever make it effective for them...or in other words that it would take way to long (years) before it would be of any use.
I can see that...I have past my 6 months. I see the structure of Aikido and understand its basic strengths & weaknesses for where I am currently at. But with patience and practice, I see people like my instructor and realize that it is indeed a pretty cool 'sport'/art.
Now will I stick it out, or will I eventually drop out as well? (who knows...I currently enjoy it)
In the end, it doesnt matter how long someone sticks it out in Aikido or anything else.
Each person has a point they want to achieve & reach and it is what is good for them.
Not everyone has to go to the lengths of someone like S. Seagal to get something, which benefits them, out of Aikido. - thats really the point with anything...that is if I was able to make the point.
So in summary - again when you see these people doing flying ukemi...if your younger you think its magic...if your older you think its a bunch of stunt men. Somehow strike the balance by clearly expressing what it is they will see, and indeed that people are trying to protect their joints from being relocated to the opposite extremities of their body.
Weapons...I dont know...suppose it wouldnt hurt to show bokken - after all people claim that "no one attacks that way" when referring to shomen uchi...it would be good to show the history behind why the art looks how it does.
Also, weapon wise you may want to show bo/jo (?) as some people like to carry sticks. (I do...keeps the dogs away when I walk out here in the country.)
And lastly, knife Im sure will attract some.
I know that two of our 2nd kyus left and now practice Russian knife attacks with each other...they want practicality. (we practically never practice knife attacks at our dojo...well, that could change at any moment, we have done bo/jo (?) 2 lessons in a row, and we havent touched it in what seems ages