“Stepping onto ABC/Sony’s Shark Tank set to ask 5 perfect strangers for money under bright lights and cameras….well, you may do things you never even dreamed of.”- Lori Lite
I shook my hands. Trust me when I tell you I never did this before. Out of a desperate attempt to feel calm I decided to shake the last few bits of stress out of my body on national television. I had 2 minutes of camera adjustments to stand there and try to maintain my composure under the glaring eyes of the sharks. I knew that they were already sizing me up and looking for my Achilles heel. So I did what any perfectly sane person would do…. I shook my hands!
I never pitched my business before! This was my chance to a pitch my life’s work to investors Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Kevin Harrington, Kevin O’leary and millions of viewers. I was ready; I was armed with my folder appropriately named Shark Bait. It was filled with my research, industry statistics, market studies, notes, numbers, facts, my pitch and information on the sharks. I even had pages of possible questions and sarcastic statements the sharks might make to me. I carefully crafted a list of smart yet witty responses. I practiced them, at home, on the airplane, in my hotel room and even while I waited to go on the set. I studied like I was taking a college final exam.
Tips to pitching your Shark Tank products:
- Be Over-prepared
- Know Your Numbers
- Have a Copyright or Patent
- Use Relaxation Techniques
- Practice Pitching to Friends, Relatives, Mirror
- Memorize Your Pitch
- Make Pitch Interesting
- Have Sales to Support your Plan
- Have Distribution in Place
- Dress for Success
- Speak From Your Heart
I was warned by friends of friends in the VC industry that investors only care about the numbers. I am a creative soul, not a numbers girl and this scared me to death. I put extra emphasis on studying my numbers but I knew this was not my strength. I decided that my best tactic would be to do what I do best; I would speak from my heart. After all, a smart shark could easily expose my lack of knowledge in finance, rip holes in my business plan, and insult my intelligence. But my heart was the one thing they could not touch. And that is what I went with! I called it my Heart Plan.
I memorized my pitch till I could say it in my sleep. I recited it until I knew that even an interruption by the sharks would not throw me off. I was determined to get to my final closing line.
“I am here to tell you that there is no better investment than investing in our children.”
While I was waiting to walk onto the set of Shark Tank, I employed all of the techniques I teach children. I used affirmations or positive statements just like my dolphin in Affirmation Weaver. I told myself “I can do it” and “I am a successful entrepreneur that investors want to invest in!”
I visualized. I imagined what it would feel like when they announced that they wanted to invest in me and even saw them fighting to make a deal with me.
I used relaxation techniques from my stories while waiting to pitch. I calmed my heart rate by focusing on colors.
I took deep diaphragmatic breaths like Angry Octopus and said Ahhhh….
I imagined the sharks as everyday people. I pictured them laughing and crying like everyone else in the world. I reminded myself that they struggle with family issues. They worry about the future. They dream. They sneeze. This put me on equal ground with the sharks. The only thing they had that I didn’t was lots of money!
I took a few more moments to pat myself on the back. I complimented myself for getting this far. I noted that my stories are making a difference on this planet. I thought about my earth imprint. I saw it filled with peaceful, smiling children. I wondered what the sharks imprint would look like. Now I was really ready!
I opened the doors to start the long walk down to the sharks. I pitched my heart out. Every moment in my life prepared me for this and this moment was bigger than me, bigger than the sharks, and bigger than the money. This was about giving our children a voice. This was about dreams coming true.
This was Shark Tank!
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and received national attention on Shark Tank. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook.