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Improving Listening Skills in the Dragons Den

A really effective way of training your listening skills for Business English is by listening to the Pitches and subsequent negotiations on the television program The Dragons Den. I suspect by now most countries have their own version of this program, but the German version is called Die Höhle der Löwen.


I have selected a two of the best Pitches (in my opinion) and put together a few questions to train your listening skills. I will add more later though....


At the end of this post I give you a basic framework of questions that you can use to be able to apply to any of the videos on the Dragons Den YouTube channel (click here) as it's really worth it's really worth searching through and finding pitches for products and services that relate more closely to your own area of work.


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1) Gener8 "This is one of the best pitches that I’ve ever heard"

Watch the whole video firstly, simply listening for what the Pitch is for, and what the outcome of the negotiation was. Then, re-watch, answering the questions below that correspond to smaller sections of the video.


0:00 – 1:38


1) What is the funding that he is looking for, and in exchange for what?

2) What is the product that he is selling.

3) What do the two modes do?


1:38 – 3:12


4) What is the business model?

5) How easy is it to stop Google from tracking you?


3:12- 5:22


6) How many active weekly users are there?

7) What is the main difference between him and the main competitor?

8) What it the main competitor valued at?

9) How dangerous is Google for the business?


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2) SpaTap "This guy had an amazing ability to sound like

every single thing he said was being made up on the spot"

Watch the whole video firstly, simply listening for what the Pitch is for, and what the outcome of the negotiation was. Then, re-watch, answering the questions below that correspond to smaller sections of the video.


0:00 – 3:00


1. What is the product, and who might it be suitable for?

2. What investment is he looking for, and in exchange for how much of the company?


3:43 – 8:54


3. How big is the camping market in the UK?

4. What is the distribution between wild campers and camp site campers?

5. Aside from campers, who else could be a potential client group for this product?

6. How low could the product end cost be brought down for the humanitarian sector?

7. What is the health risk with the product?


8:54 – 10:00


8. Why doesn’t Sarah want to invest?


10:00 – 13:18


9. What does Deborah decide, and why?

10. At 10:50 they use an idiom, what is it and what does it mean?

11. What does Peter decide and why?

12. What does Touker recommend?

13. In which publication was the company mentioned, and why?


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I'll add more later, but to be able to practice your listening skills try answering the same simple questions for any Dragos Den Pitch;


1) What is the Pitch for?

2) What/who is the target audience?

3) What investment is the Pitcher looking for, and in exchange for what?

4) How does each Dragon respond to the Pitch, and do they make an offer, if so, for what?

5) What is the outcome of the negotiation?

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