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Publication type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Shark Tank : the influence of the use of rhetoric and non-verbal communication on investment outcome
Authors: Mayer, Luca M.
Advisors / Reviewers: Graziano, Benjamin
Björck, Albena
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-24570
Extent: 145
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Winterthur
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 658.45: Corporate communications
Abstract: For many decades, founders of new ventures had to establish a comprehensive and plausible business plan to approach investors. During the past 20 years, however, the startup or investor pitch has substantially increased in significance and replaced the business plan presentation for many startups. As a result, strong presentation, communication, and persuasion skills have grown ever more important for convincing investors. Given this substantial shift, television formats such as Shark Tank and a new field of study have emerged. However, a comprehensive literature review has shown that no detailed analysis of Shark Tank pitches has focused on rhetoric and non-verbal communication. This thesis addresses the research gap by studying rhetorical and non-verbal communication aspects in successful and unsuccessful Shark Tank pitches. It provides an overview of key similarities and differences between successful and unsuccessful presenters, showing the foundations of a strong pitch. This comprehensive pitch analysis enables future pitchers to improve their preparation substantially and, therefore, the overall outcome. This thesis applies a mixed exploratory research approach, incorporating qualitative and quantitative research methods. The study includes the qualitative analysis and coding of 26 successful and 26 unsuccessful pitching sequences from Shark Tank. To ensure transparent and credible results, a multiple-cycle procedure was applied for the video coding. The frequencies per code were then visualized and related to the relevant academic literature. The findings reveal that the pitches from the two groups had a strong tendency towards homogeneity in most analyzed aspects. However, the study also highlighted certain key differences. Successful pitchers conveyed an image of higher confidence and lower anxiety during their presentation. Successful pitchers also mentioned their expertise and formulated direct expectations to the audience significantly more frequently. Therefore, pitchers seeking funding in Shark Tank are recommended to consider conveying a confident image and actively involving the audience. It was further observed that most pitchers from both groups used simple language and storytelling while incorporating aspects of vision and personal anecdotes. Most pitchers were observed delivering their presentation smiling, standing straight, and with firm eye contact with the investors. As most pitchers used these techniques, they can be considered essential for creating a compel-ling and persuasive Shark Tank pitch. Following the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the video material, the research questions were answered. Considering the limitations, emerging hypotheses were stated and discussed with Mark Cuban (Shark Tank investor). In this context, the study's relevance was explained, and concrete recommendations for further research were devised.
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: Attribution - Non commercial - No derivatives 4.0 International
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in collections:BSc International Management

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