I want to talk to you a little bit about safety before we get started. In order to cut flowers properly you can use two different tools. You can use clippers or a knife. If you're feeling really, really expert, you can use a knife. Either way, the tools should be extremely sharp. The blades should stay sharpened, and you should sharpen your blades every few months when you're using them pretty frequently.
The clippers should be in good working order. Make sure they've been greased or maintained. Make sure that they're working with a nice spring so that you're not in a position of getting stuck on a flower. With the knife, the blade should be very, very sharp. As always, be incredibly careful. Cut away from your body.
Make sure that if you're cutting with a knife, if the stem is too tough, if you're really struggling, put the knife down and pick up your clippers. In general, the harder the stem, you want to use clippers. The reason that people choose to use a knife instead of the clippers is that you don't want to smash the stem of the flower. Anytime you're using clippers you want to use a light touch.
If it's a very, very tough stem, you don't worry as much about it because as you're clipping the flower, you're not really going to smash the stem. But, if you have a stem that's fairly delicate, maybe like a dahlia, you'll want to use the knife if you can because it keeps the stem from smashing as you cut it.
Cutting should happen at a 45 degree angle and it should always be away from your body. Keep a nice distance away from your body as you cut. Keep your hand like a clamp. Your hand doesn't move. The knife moves, and your arm moves. In one sweeping motion, you make a cut.