Last week, 26-year-old Christina Conrad (who goes by CC) appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank to pitch her company, Boobypack. She left the show with an $80,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran. Conrad dishes on what it’s like to get on the famed show—and how to thrive when you’re pitching to the sharks.
You are one of the 50,000 people who have applied to be on Shark Tank: Season 7. Casting has emailed you back and asked for a 5-minute pitch video. Then they’ve asked you to try again with more “pep.” Countless red bulls, pump up speeches and sleepless nights later, two producers have called you separately, without warning, and grilled you about your business. Finally you’ve gotten the call. They’re flying you to LA for the taping!
This is not a guarantee you’ll make it on the show. They film about 50 more entrepreneurs than they can fit into the season, but you try not to think about that now. You’re in sunny California, staying at the Four Points Sheraton with a couple bus-loads of other hopeful entrepreneurs (who you’ve been instructed not to speak to) and you’re feeling…nervous. Tensions are high. Your palms are sweaty. TOMORROW is pitch day. You’re wondering to yourself, “Is the light at the end of the tunnel just a train?”
Hang in there and read these five tips from someone who knows what you’re going through:
Keep your answers short.
While they cut each entrepreneur’s airtime to around 8 minutes, the actual Q&A grilling session lasts much longer. I was up there for 45-50 minutes, which means there were a LOT of chances for me to screw up. If you keep your answers short and to the point, you won’t expose any weaknesses.
Have a game plan.
One of the most nerve-racking parts of being in front of the Sharks is having to negotiate with them. If you go into the Tank with a clear game plan, the negotiating part will be a lot easier to navigate. I went in knowing that I was gunning for Barbara, that I would not take a royalty deal and that I was willing to raise my equity offer to 25% for the right shark. If I hadn’t known that I would have been shark bait.
Know your body.
If you’re someone who sweats a lot, wear black. If you blush or get nervous hives (like me!) wear a high neckline and a lot of concealer. Your producers will ask you to wear bright colors but I’d risk disappointing them on pitch day if it means saving face later.
Take Tylenol PM.
After you’ve prepared like you’re cracked out on Adderall, it will be hard for you to get a good night’s sleep. But being rested before pitch day is SO important. Maybe a warm glass of milk is more your thing. You do you, just make sure you sleep.
One of my best friends Catie came along as my model and I was so grateful she was there with me. After months of preparation, you’re in danger of turning into a robot on set. Hopefully you’ve brought someone with you who is going to peel you away from your computer and make you laugh tonight. But if you haven’t, video chat a friend from home, your mom, your sister, someone who will remind you that you’re human and that they’ll still love you regardless of what happens tomorrow.
Watch Conrad negotiate with the Sharks here: Barbara tells Boobypack: You Don’t Need Us