An essential tip for Shark Tank pitchers: Don't let a celebrity investor hijack your presentation.
That's what Brooks Powell learned on the most recent episode of Shark Tank. Powell was explaining his company Thrive+, a nutritional supplement designed to reduce the negative effects of alcohol, when Mark Cuban battered him with questions about the legitimacy of his product.
While the inquiries were necessary to understand Powell's business, Cuban directed the entire conversation and made it impossible for the other Sharks to ask their questions.
"Do you know what just happened here today? You had a 'Cuban Heist,'" Robert Herjavec said after Cuban finished his interrogation and announced he wasn't interested in a deal. "You did an awful job because you let Mark take over your presentation and I never had a chance to learn anything."
Bethenny Frankel, a guest shark on the 24th episode, echoed Herjavec's sentiments. Powell didn't get the $400,000 for 10 percent of his company, but he learned the value of maintaining control of a presentation. Entrepreneurs must balance selling themselves and their company while simultaneously being able to juggle questions. Don't fear the interruptions, but make sure you can easily go back to the main points you want to share with prospective investors.