I live a life of bliss isolated from the fads and crazes of American television media. I do follow every skirmish between Comedy Central and Fox news, but that wasn’t enough to clue me in on a show that I should have started watching years ago. Shark Tank, known to the rest of the world as the Dragon’s Den.
As soon as I saw a trailer for the show this weekend I knew it was going to be a jackpot of great examples of public speaking and also some terrible ones. So, I watched all of season one as a holiday weekend marathon.
If you are into public speaking, especially sales, this is the show to watch. But don’t watch with obsessed curiosity of how the deal is going to turn out. Watch how good and bad presentation skills influence how willing the sharks are to risk their money.
1. You don’t need Powerpoint. One thing that stands out after a few episodes is the absence of Powerpoint presentations. The ideas that get funded do so without graphs, charts, or busy explanatory slides. Shark Tank proves that business isn’t complicated. If your presentation is, you are doing something wrong. Know the key facts and figures that are going to make the difference, have the essential visuals to add flavor to the message, and present them with confidence.
2. You do need to smile. Sometimes the sharks are on the fence. The business proposal isn’t totally compelling, but they just can’t seem to say “I’m out”, even when they know they should. That’s when even the toughest shark breaks down and says “I like you.” It’s the smile. It’s the charm. It’s the fearless cheerfulness of a pitcher who knows they are all just players in the big game of life. If you see an audience full of sharks, smile big and show them your teeth too.
- 4 May, 2014
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