Shark Tank Presentations Take the Bite out of Public Speaking - Kingswood Oxford

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January 12, 2024

Shark Tank Presentations Take the Bite out of Public Speaking

The Conklin Library transformed into a quasi-set of the hit television show Shark Tank as 13 “entrepreneurs” in Public Speaking class made business presentations to a round-robin panel of two venture capitalists (teachers and administrators) called “sharks” on the hit program, who decided whether to invest in their companies. The investors were given a rubric to judge the presentations on the entrepreneurs’ knowledge of their product and presentation skills, along with money to invest in the most worthy product. The winners were Ishaan Bafna in first place, Travis Parsons in second place, and Justice Hanna in third place.

 

Students started with a six-minute pitch of their product features and benefits, and then the investors asked questions about the company sales, marketing approaches, and debt accrued. Although the television show depicts the sharks poking holes in the start-ups, our faculty and administrators kept the mood light, encouraging the students with thoughtful feedback. The faculty was given a glossary of terms (equity, net/gross sales, margin) to pepper their questioning, so the students needed to be familiar with those terms and answer the questions accordingly.

 

Some of the products the students presented were completely novel ideas; in other cases, the students enhanced already existing products with new features. Although the class featured “products,” the real intent behind the class was for the students to present confidently and persuasively in front of an audience.

 


The students’ products were:

 

Ishaan Bafna – a paint-infused paint roller

Robin Benz – a two-sided magnetic window cleaner with infused soap 

Ashton Binalla – a jacket that automatically responds to hot and cold weather by adding or taking away air in the jacket 

Harry Engle – “float and fly” – newly designed airplane seats that aren’t impacted by turbulence 

Justice Hanna – glasses that won’t scratch or fog 

Addie Lang – a newly designed Stanley cup 

Connor Malinoski- gutters with built-in Christmas lights 

Krish Patel- a candle holder with a timer and fan that blows out your candle to prevent house fires 

Travis Parsons – a newly designed warming ski boot for more comfort 

Daniel Rivera – a stronger version of baseball glove protectant to protect fingers in a more comfortable way 

Beckett Ryan – a newly designed ski boot with SOS safety, a camera, and a tracking device. 

Lily Temkin – a reusable portable “apple seed” Apple watch charging system. 

Cherry Zhang – a slipper with science to attract pet hair 

 

 

Immersing the students in real-world scenarios where they will one day present in front of their professional peers in business, academia, or sciences is an excellent way to teach public speaking, a life-long skill. 

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