Unleash your Speaking Business Potential with these 4 Dragons' Den Lessons

I love Dragons' Den, a TV show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of highly successful business people in the hope of securing investment finance from them.

The lessons you can learn from Dragons' Den, or the international versions; Shark Tank in US and many other versions around the world, (apparently the origins are in Japan) are fantastic, and you can apply them to your speaking business.

Here are 4 big lessons that you can apply to your speaking business. 

What makes you different?

One of the first questions the Dragons will ask, is what’s different about the business product or service presented to them, an excellent question.  For you as a speaker, what’s different about you; your experience, your expertise, what and how you deliver?  What is your USP?  In a crowded market it’s very important to know how you stand out. 

How big is the market?

Before investing the Dragons want to know that they are going to make their money back and much more on top, that it’s worth their time and money to get involved.  For speakers you want to be clear that there is a market that will pay you for your expertise, that the market will pay the right rate and that there is a big enough market for you to achieve your financial goals.  If there isn’t, you may not have a business.

How much are you worth today?

Entrepreneurs are asked how much investment they want for what percentage equity in their business.  It’s often where many go wrong, they value their businesses based on potential not based on current performance.  The Dragons want to invest based on what the business is worth today, get the valuation wrong and credibility, and the investment, is lost.  When entrepreneurs vastly overvalue the worth of their business, they lose that vital investment.  When it comes to speakers, I find that far too many undervalue their worth and quote fees that are too low.  Whether you are pitching too high or too low, you risk losing the business, you need to get your worth just right. 

Why should they invest?

And why should they invest with a particular entrepreneur now?  For speaker bookers why should they book you and why is what you bring relevant now?  This is your proposition, potentially your most important narrative and yet so few entrepreneurs and speakers spend time getting that right.  Your business will stand or fall based on how strong your proposition is.

Do you have a favourite Dragon, Shark, Tiger, Lion?  My current favourite Dragon is Deborah Meaden, she is straight talking, says it as she sees it and is championing sustainability.  Plus she wears some of the best shoes. 

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