Every autumn night I find that a large part of America is caught up in watching one of the most successful reality show-Shark Tank! Call it whatever you want, but as a business student, I find that the way the contestants adapt to various situations thrown at them by the sharks is very inspiring. No matter how awesome the product is, to me the most entertaining part is watching the sharks fight among each other. How do these sharks market themselves in such a way that their offers not only stand out among the other sharks but also win over the contestants?
In an attempt to unravel those questions, I am going to analyze the tone of these sharks. I’ve watched numerous episodes and picked up frequently used phrases by the sharks such as “It’s all about the money” by Mark Cuban or “How much is the future profits” by Kevin O’Leary and put them through the Boost Editor to really understand the emotional tone behind those phrases. This would hopefully help me understand their tone and also maybe even unlock some answers!
Good old “Mr. Wonderful”! Shark Tank isn’t complete without this man. Sitting front and center, Kevin loves to have the spotlight on him! Whether it’s talking over other sharks to get his offer across or undermining the contestants so much that they choke under pressure. This man is the real ‘HANGRY’ shark when it comes to torturing the contestants with his questions!
With the help of the Boost Editor, it is indicated that his tone generally focuses more on intimidating the contestants. This can be understood by looking at the graphs percentages for each emotion. Anything above a 75% is a dominant emotion. And in Kevin’s case, Fear and Disgust are the prime drivers of his tone whilst joy and anger are less likely emotions since they are under 49%.
The fear and disgust he inflicts through his tone are used as a vehicle to determine whether the product is a good investment. He also loves to use his high pitched tone to shush the other sharks down and win the deal! A strategy that no one thus far has been able to match. Overall this man has no chill. Hence the well deserved 0% for inflicting JOY in his tone on our EDITOR!
Mark Cuban is the man you want to get the attention of when presenting your product! He exhibits a sense of cautiousness and proactiveness with regards to his tone and actions in the episodes. According to our Editor, he has a high percentage for inflicting JOY and has an equal distribution between the other three. That is because he has a strict and stern tone when it comes to dealing with a contestant. He brings the practical aspect that helps him decide whether to invest or not in the product, hence introducing a serious tone during his talk. Always driven to find originality, Mark has a “BS radar” that makes his tone change to zero patience. Basically, he will slick your product to bits with his words! Game over. Mark is milder when compared to Kevin, but is equally as assertive as him.
Considered the nicer shark, Barbara always manages to make a personal connection with the contestant by being amicable through her tone. JOY being her most common, Barbara has this nice yet shrewd approach which helps get her point across better than the other sharks. She has an empathetic side that makes her more approachable as she explains her reasons for rejecting or accepting a pitch by adding in a personal touch from her own life experiences. As a woman she uses this platform to play the ‘girl power’ card by using phrases like “ Being a girl is hard enough, so I know what it’s like to work hard right from the start” to pitch her offer and win over the contestants.
Patience is literally what Daymond’s tone embodies. Every time I watch Shark Tank, I am constantly thinking about how this man manages to always stay cool with the loudest and most enthusiastic shark in the background (oh Kevin!). He’s the only shark that properly listens to the entire pitch without reacting in any way. JOY is the main driver in his tone. He tries to give the contestant a chance to speak up and puts things through before putting his opinion across. He is often overshadowed due to Kevin just being super loud in the background! Hence the ANGER component identified by the Editor.
Robert is probably my favorite guy on Shark Tank! Not only is he (super) good looking, but he is also considered the ‘nicest shark’ amongst the others as he is more open to hearing contestant’s business model. Throughout all his offers and investigations, Robert seems assertive in his tone while trying to acquire information about the product. While making an offer, he is often laid back and confident in his approach. Robert’s tone is empathetic and is often willing to take a step forward by talking about his personal predicaments to make his offers sound more appealing. He makes sure he gives credit where credit is due but makes sure he gives proper critiques at the same time.
In an effort to show their business acumen, I have learned that these sharks approach the contestants in a very unique manner. Be it through inflicting anger, joy, fear or disgust, the Boost Editor further helps us understand the tone these sharks undertake in order to lure each contestant in! Their primary emotions used to put their points across essentially defines how they market themselves and stand out among the other sharks.
Now that we’ve got their strategies uncovered, make sure to be on the watch for all of them the next time you watch another Shark Tank episode!