A new television show debuted this past weekend, a show based on a popular UK show, Dragons’ Den.

The US show is called “Shark Tank“.  The “tank” is a panel of highly successful business people with investment money to spend. Each week 4 to 5 entrepreneurs pitch their idea to the panel. There is a monetary amount each entrepreneur needs in exchange for a percentage of the business. They pitch the deal and the panelists are either in or out.

I didn’t watch the show on Sunday when it aired, but I did watch it on Hulu.com this morning in preparation of this post. Generally I am uncomfortable with watching these types of shows, but this one held my attention. Mainly because of the quality of the pitches.  All of the presenters, while obviously nervous, showed a lot of passion about their idea or business. The pitches ranged from uncomfortably personal to a little ridiculously arrogant, and they were all compelling to watch.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many hours of practice went into those pitches.

Working at Palo Alto Software for seven years – I’ve read my share of business plans and have watched more than a few pitches, and let me tell you, I have great respect for the people who get up in front of a bunch of skeptical, would-be investors to describe their business dream and how, through the power of their hard work and good planning, they will make money.   I’ve listened to some really amazing pitches for bad business plans, and some horrible pitches with fantastic business plans.

Watching the show I couldn’t help but come to the conclusion that how you pitch your business idea, and just as importantly, how you pitch yourself, is key to your success in obtaining investment money.

If you missed the show, like I did, the pilot show is embedded below, or you can search for the “Shark Tank” on hulu.com. The next episode is scheduled for 9:00 PM, Sunday, August 16, on ABC.

‘Chelle Parmele
Social Media Marketing Manager