Guest Column | May 9, 2013

Swimming With The Sharks: Pitch Lessons From Reality TV

By Stephanie Scotti, Strategic Communication Adviser,

I must confess to a guilty pleasure — I love the ABC-TV show, Shark Tank, which gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to realize their dreams with a business deal that could be worth millions.

Though Shark Tank is highly entertaining (although, at times, unnecessarily brutal), it’s also quite instructional when it comes to high-stakes presentations. With so much on the line, wanna-be entrepreneurs must give the pitch of a lifetime — one that requires them to project confidence, credibility and conviction from start to finish.

Here are five lessons from Shark Tank that you can use in your next presentation:

1. Be shark-centric. Smart entrepreneurs know that their “pitch” is not about eir great product; instead, it’s about how the sharks can make money. Rather than making your presentation all about you and your ideas, focus on your audience — what do you need to do to “move” your listeners to take action or try something new?

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