The Next Titan is a Nigerian entrepreneurship reality TV show where the winner would get up to 7 million and a brand new car as a reward for winning.
In order to make it to the house, you will have to make it at the audition. The audition is the first phase of elimination and selection.
At the season 6 in Lagos State, there were up to 500 people that attended the audition. In Abuja, over 300 people attended too. The audition was also held in two other places viz Enugu, and Port Harcourt with attendance running in hundreds.
I attended the season 6 audition in Lagos and made it to the first round. If you pay attention to what I’m about to share you will improve your chances of making it in the first round.
The second round however, is not particularly something you may have control over… in my own opinion.
- Come early – be in the first 10.
Auditions like the Next Titan are long and tiring. If you come late, you will meet the judges when they’re tired, pissed or have heard so much from other people who’re into your industry.
Going to the audition very early means getting to the judges when they’re still fresh and perhaps open to ideas.
There even gets a time when the judges may get so tired they may start reducing the pitch time drastically or they will start putting two people on one pitch stand at a time. They may even dismiss the late comers or ask them to come back the next day.
All of these things might affect the way you feel and your chances to perform well. Go early and aim to be in the first 10 to be auditioned.
- Come with your products and demonstrations.
People who came with already made products or people who created prototypes of their ideas or products stand more chances of success than others who merely want to talk about it.
It makes sense: the judges want to see that you’re solving new problems or that you’re bringing something fresh to the marketplace.
If your idea is too abstract and cannot be touched, felt or seen – you decrease your chances of getting a “yes”.
People who have shown a good level of commitment in their business stand a much better chance. These people have registered their business, got NAFDAC approval or are in the process; they have got something like patent or trademark etc.
Please note: I am not saying you cannot make it in the audition without these things. I’m just saying if you have these things, you may impress the judges.
- Be confident.
Everything is going to be happening so fast. What the judges are looking for in those 30-60 seconds is for you to show that you’re confident and that you have something you truly believe in.
If you lose your confidence, you sell yourself short.
As far as understand the Next Titan no one can guarantee your success there. It’s a TV reality show so a lot of other things beyond your presentation or even business idea will be put into consideration. And you know it’s a competition so there’s always someone who’s going to lose for others to win.
Getting a presentation training or personal coaching is an experience that will improve your life beyond auditions. What you will learn will live with you and may come handy in the future.
- Be brief and avoid fillers.
All three judges will be asking you questions very quickly at almost the same time. If you’re the type that needs time to express your thoughts, you will fail.
You should be able to answer questions in 10-20 seconds.
Cut out all the ehhs, ehmms, and urrrs.
Your coach should be able to help you minimize them and eventually stop using them so you can speak more fluently.
- Be quick and savvy.
To make it in the first round, you need to be smart. Entrepreneurship is for the smart and savvy — meaning you need to be able to answer questions you didn’t prepare for or take “jabs”
When the judges express doubt or make mockery of your idea, you don’t take it personal. You ought to have assumed from the beginning that they won’t understand your business the way you do. So you need to simplify it and communicate it very quickly and smartly while retaining your respect and politeness.
Words and phrases matter a lot.
Phrase “A” — “We’re looking for money to get a bigger office” – judges may think you’re just looking to satisfy your ego. She’s just looking for office to impress her village people.
Phrase “B” — “we’re looking for fund to get a better workplace.” – still the same thing but different impression.
Watch out for words and phrases like “maybe” “I don’t know” when you’re asked about your business.
You don’t want the judges poking you because you use words and phrases that scream “fraud”. So watch your phrases and the impressions they quickly create in the mind of the judges.
- Know your business very well.
Anyone who attended the audition would tell you that the most important thing is that you know your business very well. No one can say for sure the questions the judges might chose to ask you. So the more you understand your business the better chances you have to do justice to the questions asked.
What should you know about your business?
- Know the name of your company.
- Your industry.
- Your unique selling points – what distinguishes your business from others already in the marketplace.
- Know what you want to do with the money – why you are looking for capital.
- Know your competitors and your competitive advantage(s).
- Dress well.
Impression matters a lot. So dress well. They will ask you to wear “corporate” to the audition but it really wouldn’t matter what you wear if every other thing checks out – you have a personality, an impressive business idea, you’re very confident and you impress the judges as someone who can do the business.
Please wear something that also reflects your business idea. You can’t say you’re a cultural dress maker and you’re on some English suit.
Dress to represent. If your business has no particular dress, then go English corporate to be on a safer side.
- Listen attentively to the judges.
One mistake a lot of people make at the audition is not listening to the question asked or instruction given. When you mistake the question, you will definitely give the wrong answer. And that will get you a “no for me!”
This is important in any audition or competition – listen attentively and follow instructions as accurately as you can.
If you’re asked to give one reason, give ONE reason. If you were asked to speak in 30 seconds, keep it at less than 30 seconds. If you were asked to attack another idea and say why your business should be the one selected, don’t try to be a saint, do what is asked of you.
- Stay at the venue.
Some people will come for auditions, get their umber and then disappear. In auditions like the Next Titan where there’s free money and too many people, nobody cares about your disappearance. It shows you’re not even serious.
Stay at the venue and keep tabs with your group or neighbors in the event. They will make provisions for light refreshment. Just snacks and drinks. So stay close and see to the end of the audition. You won’t die!
- Understand the goal of the program – it’s a show.
Most great business ideas can’t win a single show.
You know that right?
If you have the best business ideas but you have a terrible face, figure or stature – you’re a “gonner”
Cos’ these guys want people to watch their shows and enjoy it – it’s how they make enough money to keep running more shows. So what you will notice is that the good ideas, with the best looking “actors” will most likely win. Great idea with poor personality may not make it at all.
In the eventual case that you see someone you don’t particularly believe they got there because they are beautiful or good looking remember this:
- They may have had some very great ideas just like everyone in their group.
- They may have been chosen for “compensatory reasons” – if a lot of fair people are chosen, producers would need someone dark. If a lot of tall people are chosen already, they may need someone short. This is the part you really have no control over.
You may just be the winner because there are so many lookalikes coming into the show already and you can be a loser for the same. Bad!
NB: because we’re Africans, let me say this — you really don’t need a charm or special prayers to win the Next Titan audition.
Unless you’re praying for personal strength and confidence, all other things are in the hands of the judges and producers. Save yourself from unnecessary stress. 30% of those attending the program already possess the qualities they’re looking for.