With 8 million weekly viewers and primetime positioning, Shark Tank is often referred to as the entrepreneur’s Super Bowl. It is a 6-9 minute spot worth millions of impressions and Web traffic, which can paint your company as one that can swim or one that will sink. Prepping for such exposure for your company (not to mention yourself) isn’t easy, especially as you are bombarded with insecurities, self-doubt, and sometimes a case of stage fright.
Below are four age-old traditions that I broke to help me personally prepare to hold my own in the tank.
Dress to Impress…For the Second Time
Dressing up for special occasions is a widely accepted practice, whether it means putting on a new tie or a new blouse. However, I purposely committed the ultimate fashion faux pas on Shark Tank: I wore a dress I had previously worn on camera. Not only had I worn it on camera for this highly rated segment for Entrepreneur, but I was also photographed in it at the United Nations. While some may balk, I used this as an advantage to settle my nerves.
Whether it is a big meeting, media appearance, or public speaking opportunity, your mind can begin racing. “Is this wrinkling in a strange way?” “Is this color too muted?” “Am I sweating visibly?” Having already worn this look on camera, I was able to reference some historical facts. I knew exactly what I was going to look like in the Tank and exactly how I would photograph for the ABC promo shots. Having this reference point allowed my appearance fears to vanish pre-taping.
Kim Kaupe is the co-founder of ZinePak, a custom publication company that creates engaging fan packages for entertainers, brands, and celebrities. She graduated with a B.A. in marketing from the University of Florida and roots loyally for her Gators. Most recently, she was named one of Inc.’s 35 Under 35 and featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, securing offers from 4 out of 5 sharks. Previously she was named to Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 and Forbes 30 Under 30.
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