I think it was on Instagram that I first read about the Next Titan Season 6. I quickly understood it’s a TV reality program that rewards entrepreneurs and gives the winner capital to start or run a business.
The only program most of us are very familiar with is BBnaija which essentially rewards you for being…. Eh… I don’t even know.
You can imagine my excitement when I realized that a Nigerian TV reality show aims to reward entrepreneurs. And my greatest happiness came when I realized it involves business pitching (I was wrong though).
Thing is, I am an expert communicator and I’ve got a business that I believe many investors would want to put their money into.
So I knew immediately that my chances of winning the next Titan audition was huge (I wasn’t wrong at this one but the first wrong would be my strangest undoing).
I registered for the audition. It’s free. The registration form contains a few basic questions – name, location, business idea and everything in between.
After registration I decided to learn more about the audition. Unfortunately, not many people wrote a blog about their experiences at the program.
The people who did share some experience about the audition were mixed – some were complaining about how the judges were not paying attention to the potentials of their business or how they were inconsiderate.
Others were just regular comments and few questions (you know how Instagram can be naa).
I watched many of the videos of the past seasons. These videos were more or less about the activities in “the house”, and nothing about how the actual audition works or what one needs to do.
The Next Titan expects you to pitch your idea at the audition. That is what they said but that was not what I saw when I got to the audition.
Let me explain.
We were auditioned on Thursday 5th September 2019. The Next Titan normally will send you text messages and even call you days before the audition. So I got some emails containing the details about venue, time and other instructions.
I initially planned to drive to the venue by 7am since the audition starts by 8 am but my sister insisted that I leave very early because “this is Lagos and we’re talking about free 7 million Naira”
I left around after 5am and got there by 6. I met 4 other guys on ground and became the #5 guy according to their numbering. By 7am everywhere was getting really filled so quickly. By 9am the whole place became jam-packed with people who came for auditions – smart, young, vibrant, obviously educated or at least enlightened young people (yea, there are people I’d not particularly consider young, perhaps when compared to what my society considers ‘youth’) but does it matter anymore?
The Next Titan stated that participants were to come on “corporate dress” but when you get there you will eventually see everything dress – corporate that’s not really corporate, normal everyday dresses, people that even came on palm sleepers, girls with very seductive dresses (I saw two sexily dressed girls. They look so gorgeous… Like we were going for a club or sexy fashion show. Damn… I wished to be the judge for two minutes at that very moment. Joking!)
It appears, what you wear wouldn’t really matter much. People on T-shirts won the audition, some people on suites too. Some people on traditional wears also made it. And I know a girl that wasn’t even overly dressed but she made it. I guess what’s more important is that you wear something that’s in line with what you attempt to sell or pitch. Wear something also that helps you project yourself better to avoid being looked down on.
Let’s move on.
My experience at the venue was exciting. I love any environment that appreciates the hustle and grit of entrepreneurship. You could see that in most people’s eyes. Some began forging relationships right away. I met people too… nearly got a crush but I had to focus on the audition so I behaved. >Smiles
BetKing and other sponsors came for activities and entertainment. I believe some people won money on the venue through some of the gaming activities. Honestly, the audition was something good to remember.
We were paraded from different places by the producers so they could get shots.
If you look good and have poise and presence, they might specially ask you to show for the camera shots.
We were made to align in our numbers and move accordingly. Imagine 500 people trying to match accordingly. It was work. But we did it.
It drizzled and we were left under the dulling drops of rain. We knew that 7 million Naira isn’t supposed to come easy. So we took whatever comes. Okay, some people did murmur and others just joked about it. But we took it like entrepreneurs that we are.
Audition started around 11am. At this time I was the 4th guy (because the other guy wasn’t around when the second registration started even though it followed after the first registration collected by us).
We were grouped into 5 for easy progression. We moved in and sat down. We were given powder for our face. It’s a TV audition so you gotta look good.
A few minutes delay for set ups and we were ready to ball. The first guy in my team – he’s tall, dark, handsome and outspoken. I can’t remember how everything started happening so fast in the pitch ground. Next thing I heard… “it’s a no for me” “It’s a no for me” “It’s a no for me.”
And he’s out.
Shook our hands. Obviously, this is a lot more than we hoped for.
Second guy went in. I knew he’d make it. He’s been very charismatic and outspoken. He was the guy that made sure we were arranged from the beginning. Obviously a good leader. I believe he may not have much fright.
Next thing I heard… “It’s a no for me.” “It’s a no for me.” “It’s a no for me thank you.”
At this time… you can imagine what I’m trying to understand… “what is going on here?”
Third guy went in…
“It’s a no for me.” “It’s a no for me.” “It’s a no for me.”
Now, I’m the 4th guy. It’s my turn.
I walked up to get the lapel mic fixed on my clothes. The producer also gave me a few instructions on where to stand. I wasn’t scared. It’s not my first time speaking in front of people. I know I got this. My only concern is that I don’t really know what they’re looking for or why the other guys got rejected. Everything was happening too fast but I couldn’t let that get to me.
I spent over 2 months preparing for this. I have a 5 minutes pitch, a 3 minute and a 1 minute pitch as well. I know my figures. I’ve done some consultations too. I was ready as hell but still not very sure what really is needed.
Learn how to pitch in one minute. Click here!
Soon, I was standing before the 3 judges. Two men and one woman. They threw the first question at me. I answered and almost immediately another judge fired a shot. Then another fired a doubt shot. I was taking them too well because I knew my business. I also knew that they would do this and I had to be brief and avoid muttering words or sounding unsure.
Everything was happening too fast. Next thing I heard is…
Wait for it…
“It’s a yes for me” “It’s a yes for me” and one of the judges didn’t say anything – which means MAYBE.
There are only 3 answers at the Next Titan – No, YES and MAYBE. No means go home. Yes means you’re good to wait. Maybe means, we may need to review your applications against others just to be sure.
In Lagos audition, even people who got 3 yeses were asked to wait behind and they were auditioned again with every other person who got maybe.
At the second audition, your “maybe” or “yes” would not a matter anymore. Someone with 3 maybes can win at the last audition.
I heard rumors that in other cities, 3 yeses could land you to the Boot camp. The reason is because they are small in number.
5 discouraging things about the next titan
In Lagos audition we were like 500 people. Only about 60 people made it to the second round. I was among this 60 people. We were asked to come back on Friday because they couldn’t finish auditioning others as at Thursday.
We came and had to wait till 6pm before it was time for our second audition.
At the second audition, we were told by some of the crews that the last round of audition is about the TV show – who has what it takes to make the show look good?
We’ve made it so far because we have impressive business ideas. Now what matters is what are you bringing into the reality TV show?
No one was sure of what the question for audition might be this time.
Some people said we would be asked to talk about what we will be bringing to the house. Some people said they will ask us to give a tip about our business in 30 seconds. The latter was more like it. Say something about your business in less than 30 seconds.
We did. Some people couldn’t even get up to 30 seconds and the alarm would go off. Bad thing. At this time, I was like the #1 guy in the whole crowed of 60. I paved the way… >Don’t look at me like that. LOL
After the second round, we were asked to wait behind for results. This final result will determine who will make it to the Boot camp and who will go home to rest.
It was around after 8 in the night. Most of us had not eaten anything since morning that we came. We just wanted to see to the end of it.
When my group was called upon for the final call.
I knew I was going to make it but I wasn’t so sure. The reason is because we do not know what the producers are looking for. I felt I had whatever it takes. Besides, my presentation was good.
I was the first to be called out in a line. Then another, and another. 4 people in my group of 5 was called out. One girl was left (I wish you would allow me to tell you more about the girl. I was almost getting acquainted with her but couldn’t do much because of the pressure of the time).
We were told to congratulate ourselves.
No we didn’t win. We didn’t make it to the boot camp.
It was the girl that was not called out that made it.
She stayed upstairs while we walk down stairs.
One of us even thought the 4 of us that were called out made it. I had to help him come to reality. We didn’t make it bro. The tension and pressure was that bad. Everything happened so fast.
But most of us took the whole thing in good fate. We knew that the audition was something else than most of us had expected. It wasn’t particularly about best ideas or communication prowess; it’s also about some other intangible features that we really do not have control over.
Only the judges and the producers know what they’re looking for.
I went home. Starving. Not happy. Not angry. Surprised. Maybe I over estimated myself. >LOL