I had the privilege to pitch the Shark Tank casting team today. What a great experience to see so many other entrepreneurs chasing their dreams. I learned 3 things about this experience that I had to share:
(1) Perfect your elevator speech (and never stop perfecting it): They give you 60 seconds to describe your product or service to get the casting team excited. You have to capture their attention immediately as you are one of so many they see. I used a question to pique their interest: "Do you know anyone who understands their employee benefits?" "Of course not." That answer drives immediate engagement and sets up the remainder of my pitch. You can use facts, a quote, etc. but it needs to be engaging and memorable. Perfect your pitch for all big projects, presentations, and interviews.
(2) Know your business: This was an important pitch, so I needed more that just a great consumer insight. I needed a distinct business plan, too. And for a show like this, I had to be able to speak clearly and concisely about how my company makes money. If you want investment, either as an entrepreneur or as a budget holder at a company trying to fund an internal project, you must be able to speak to how you will use the money and what the return from that investment will be.
(3) Passion is everything in life. If you aren't passionate about what you do for a living, it shows. I was in a room that was oozing passion. I was so excited to share my idea (humorous videos that help people understand their boring and confusing benefits) because I know I can make a big difference in people's lives.