Two Phrases to Kill Any Pitch

Two Phrases to Kill Any Pitch


I’m listening to pitches at Founder Institute Seattle and there are some pet peeves that just kill presentations.

“To Be Honest With You” as defined by the Urban Dictionary to the right – I’ve left off where you could stick the pineapple or for that matter, the cucumber – but you can find it here.

People say this as a throw away statement. I think the users want to establish credibility, but it has the opposite effect.

The second statement is: “Our Forecast is Conservative”. No, your forecast is just wrong. We know it’s wrong, the investors know it’s wrong. We just don’t want it to be delusional as well as wrong. Your forecast is your best guess based on what you know today.

A better statement would be that you think it’s reasonable, based on your assumptions. Then take the time to explain what your key metrics and assumptions are for your business.

Here’s a link five “What Not to Wear” items from Rebecca Lovell – Thanks Rebecca!

Here’s the link to the Top 10 Startup Fundraising Fails.

One Reply to “Two Phrases to Kill Any Pitch”

  1. I could think of a few more phrases that kill me:

    “We have no competitors” – This just goes to show that A – you don’t understand the marketplace and are unaware of your competitors. B – you know about competitors but you would rather lie to investors, or C – there are no competitors simply because there is no real market (and you are going to be the proud king of a very small hill.)

    “We have no scaling issues” – Every business has scaling issues. Being able to identify growth issues helps investors setup strategic assets for the future.

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