The Den

Wonderful Wednesday Words.

A den is a hidden home of wild animals. I know you are scratching your head, wondering what the word ‘den’ has to do with business. If any of you are familiar with Dragons’ Den (a British T.V. programme), then it will now be crystal clear.

In Britain, we have ‘Dragons’ Den’, in the US ‘Sharks’ Tank’ and in Germany, loosely translated ‘Lions’ Den’ aka ‘Höhle der Löwen’. The contestants pitch their business idea to the ‘dragons’, ‘sharks’ or ‘lions’ (all successful and wealthy business people in their own rights), ask for funding in exchange for equity shares in their fledgeling company. After a nerve-wracking 1-2 minute pitch, the newbie has to hold their own and convince the dragons that they are worth investing in. The questions come thick and fast, probe into every aspect/corner of their business and even personal life. The question phrase usually makes or breaks their chances of success.

Many fail, most don’t come out unscathed, and a few actually come out smelling of roses, igniting a bidding battle between two or more of the dragons. Most contestants hear the dreaded “I’m out” while the occasional few hear the coveted “I’m in, you’ve got yourself a deal”. However, more often than not, they have to pay the price of giving up more equity than they initially wanted after fierce negotiations with the savvy dragons.

The Den is real-life business, no business English language learning book. What a better place to learn business English than in the Den? How would you have pitched the product or answered their questions?

More importantly, how much of the (business) English did you understand? Would you answer: “I got the gist”, “most of it” or even “nearly all of it (maybe except for a few tidbits here and there)”.

That’s where Teatime Titbits comes in. Click on this link https://teatimetitbits.de/free-pdfs/ and download the Free PDF “Dragons fight over jaw-dropping multi-million-pound business” to get a comprehensive vocabulary list for the following pitch, which you can find on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nJ4qA-S-KmE

Before you rush off to watch the vid, I would just like to introduce the dragons briefly. From left to right:

Touker Suleyman (Fashion)

Jenny Campbell (Banking)

Sarah Willingham (Restaurants)

Deborah Meaden (Family holidays and leisure)

Tej Lalvani (Health products)

Peter Jones (e-commerce, mobiles, television, media and leisure)

QOTD Who, if any of the Dragons, will go into business with the two contestants?

Den (Höhle), to scratch one’s head (sich am Kopf kratzen), to wonder (sich fragen), to be familiar with sth (mit etw bekannt sein), to be crystal clear (glasklar sein), loosely translated (frei übersetzt), contestant (Kandidat), to pitch sth (etw anpiesen), wealthy (wohlabend), in one’s own rights (aus eigener Kraft), in exchange for (im Austausch für), equity share (Aktienkapital), fledgeling company (Jungfirma), nerve-wracking (nervenaufreibend), pitch (Verkaufspräsentation), newbie (Anfänger/Neuling), to hold one’s own (sich behaupten), to convince sb (jdn überzeugen), to be worth (sich lohnen), thick and fast (knüppeldick kommen), to probe (gründlich prüfen), to come off unscathed (gut wegkommen), to come out smelling of roses (von seine besten Seite zeigen), to ignite sth (etw entzünden), the dreaded (gefürchtet), highly-coveted (heiß begehrt), “you’ve got yourself a deal” (wir sind in Geschäft), however (jedoch), initially (anfänglich), fierce (heftig), negotiations (Verhandlungen), savvy (schlau), to brush sth up (etw auffrischen), to get the gist (das Wesentlich erfassen), the exception of (Ausnahme von), comprehensive (umfassend), to rush off (davonstürmen)

2 thoughts on “The Den

You‘ve survived all those creatures with sharp theeth: sharks, lions, dragons. No problem. But then comes a little virus that eventually decides about the future of your business like imperators did back in Rome: thumbs up or thumbs down. Morituri te salutant, Corona! However, the creative urge and genius will always survive. When the world comes crashing down, you have a chance to do something you couldn‘t have done before. I‘m sure we will see more than one phoenix rise up.

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