[caption id="attachment_1229" align="alignleft" width="395" caption="Tail Wags Helmet Covers pitching to the Dragons!"][/caption] I am frequently asked, “So what’s it really like during the taping of the Dragon’s Den”? A mompreneur called me today because she’s auditioning for the 2011-12 season of the Dragon’s Den. She is planning to pitch her Internet information site and she is understandably nervous and, therefore, wanted to know what to expect and how she should prepare. Here’s what I told her:
- First and foremost, the Dragon’s Den producers are interested in creating good television. Whether or not you’ve got a good product is secondary. If your presentation won’t enthrall the TV audience, they are not going to accept you on their show.
- What the audience sees on TV is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the taping. Take, for example, the Tail Wags Helmet Covers episode on the Dragon’s Den. The Dragons all raved about my product, recognized that my business is successful and complimented me on my business acumen. But the way the episode presents makes it seem as if their primary concern was my business evaluation. Keep in mind the television taping lasts for 30 to 45 minutes and the audience is only viewing a small portion of that taping. In my case, the episode on air lasted under 10 minutes. So what happened to the rest of the tape? It landed on the floor of the edit room! It would have bored the show’s audience if they had included all of the financial information so it was omitted.
- When the presenter signs a waiver before being filmed, they are giving the producers permission to edit the episode. In my case, the segment is very choppy because it’s been heavily edited. Every time I answer a question, I am cut off in the middle of my response.
- The producers are also allowed to “cut in” certain comments. For example, at one point in my segment Kevin O’Leary says, “Not a chance in hell that will ever happen” but he never said that during my taping. That’s why the Dragons are wearing the same outfits on each show for an entire season. It makes it easy for the edit room to cut and paste.
- [caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Kevin O'Leary: the "Simon Cowell" of the Dragon's Den"][/caption] The producers love it when a presenter gets frazzled during a TV taping. It makes for good TV if the business owner starts swearing or becomes confused. In fact, Kevin O’Leary is very good at making people feel anxious. So my advice to interested entrepreneurs is don’t let the Dragons get under your skin! If you start cussing or crying, you will undermine your opportunity to present yourself as a smart and savvy business owner.
- Be prepared. You are not going to convince the Dragons to invest and you are certainly not going to make a good impression with your audience, if you don’t know your facts. If the owner of the business doesn’t know his financial figures, what kind of confidence will the Dragons or the public have in your business?
- There were some pretty crazy presenters at the TV studio the day of my filming. After all, why would the Dragons be interested in a totally naked lady who only wore body paint for her TV taping? This example reinforces the point that the producers want to keep their audience interested by showing a wide range of products and business ideas. Obviously no one expected the Dragons to invest in the “Snake Oil Salesmen” but we all loved it when Jim Treliving (one of the Dragons) told that presenter to get the hell out of the TV studio! My question to anyone interested in appearing on this TV show is, “Are you seriously trying to promote your business, obtain investment funds or are you simply trying to draw attention to yourselves”?
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