From Deck to Skills: Preparing Your First Keynote

This discussion topic refers back to the “Deck to Skills: Preparing Your First Keynote” Course. If you haven’t taken it yet, click here to learn more.

Questions? Support?

We know you’ll have more questions and need support as you’re writing your keynote and going through the process.

To help support you, head over to the discussion boards and join the conversation.

What is the topic of your keynote?

What questions do you still have?

This is the perfect place to ask other Patient Leaders their advice and collaborate. Make sure to keep coming back to the discussion group to help others and support them on their quest for thought leadership status as well!


Great information! The study about bonding was a very interesting piece of information.


Hi Kristen, thanks for this thread.

My story involves dealing with depression and alcoholism - sober for 15 years then got colorectal cancer in ‘18 and ‘19. Cancer free for 5 months now :slight_smile:

Before cancer, I spoke to parent groups about helping their kids go through adolescence drug free.

But now, I’m looking to pivot and become a patient leader to help people find deep resilience after cancer and during cancer or other life changing illnesses.

How does that hit ya?


When organizing my keynote speeches I follow these steps.

  1. Get Creative With Photos
  2. Simplify Charts And Graphs That I want to use, Creating A Visual Experience With The Data
  3. Do Your Slides Last using 1 Theme Per Slide
  4. Once I Have My Slides and Speech, I Practice In-front of My husband. (this is hard, but gets me ready for people who dont know me, if he is lost or confused, I must change)

This platform is a vital part of helping patients find their voice and effectively share their stories.


I found so much of this presentation useful. I never considered using one “large” speech that could be broken down into a smaller one, if needed. That makes sense!


Really great course about developing a keynote speech especially regarding taking a long story and breaking it down.

Another option is to present a case study using the same format. Case studies give the audience more value whilst developing more opportunities for questions. You could take 2 projects for instance to compare your findings and present possible research avenues, conclusions reflecting you reaching aims that you have. So much to pick from.

Leaving the audience thinking is my main aim of any speech even as a panel speaker, creating opportunities for potential changes to healthcare systems and attaining better patient outcomes, but that is my genre as a professional / expert patient.

I champion varying chronic illnesses so I tend to generalise, but use examples to back up the points I’m trying to make. It also depends on who your audience is! Your keynote probably would different for pharma than say an academic audience… just for an example.

Using the same keynote across the sectors is a good idea but remember to alter to suit the audience.

Anyone who knows me will understand my methodologies, but those who don’t please don’t be shy and reply / get in touch I’ll be happy to explain.



“Seeing is Believing” in my case as, Larynx cancer survivor in 22nd year & speaking with Electro Larynx with clearly audible sound which is precisely different from normal human voice, always helps me to give impactful presentations with slides for audience.
Depending upon time slot given, I choose 3 to 5 different topics with You tube video, covering my journey of fighting cancer including treatments briefly.
Motivating audience is with various slides & notes is key factor when patients & care givers, family members undergoing trauma because of cancer & it’s treatments & because of fear of losing job or going back to work as well as for leading routine life to greater extent.
Though I never smoked or use tobacco in any form, I do advocate for quit smoking & use of tobacco as it’s one of the major reason for causing cancer including remission.
My audience is usually consist of young people, cancer patients, medical professionals including Oncologists.
I am being invited by medical colleges & Universities and industrial factories with huge work force.
Live talk shows is my mission to help community to fight cancer.


It was a very informative content and I will use it in my Keynotes


My topic is autoimmune & primary immune deficiency. The battles between suppression of a disease while also trying to increase immunity. The struggles between the two.

I have taken public speaking classes and I enjoy talking but I still am discouraged on filming myself and talking on a camera but have no fear in talking to public because reading the room to know if it’s being perceived well is easier than behind the camera or starting a YouTube channel. How does one get over the talking on camera with a silent audience?


Finding a way to energetically convey the message around the need to have more people register to donate life. I have all the statistics, but it’s the story telling that makes it or breaks it!


I think it was important to point out that not all speakers are born to do so. It takes time, energy, and practice to get to a level that you are comfortable with.


Hello, I would like to speake about organ plantation likes kideny , /how it works and use of durages .


hello Ms. Kristen, thanks for this thread.
My story involves being a teenage autistic female! :blush:
I was quite an early diagnosis for being a female on the spectrum in fact 25% girls are diagnosed well on the other hand 75% boys are diagnosed as autistic and that doesn’t count the misdiagnosed or undiagnosed aspies
I’m looking to pivot and become a patient leader to help people understand females on the spectrum more and how they can help their autistic friends and family
What do you think?


Welcome to WEGO Health! Glad to have here :slight_smile: to shine a light on this.

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I remember how much I was scared to speak in front of people. I liked to be behind the scenes. Now since I was able to take a class I have much more confidence speaking. I actually like it now.


All humans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, including those living with a mental health condition. Everyone alive today has a vested interest in treating others with dignity and respect as they do not know for certain that they or someone they know will not experience a mental health crisis that leads to the formation of a mental health condition.


I’m still wondering how one is invited to present a keynote address. I’ve been living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer for 2 years and I’ve found resistance when I offer to speak and share my story because people find it to be negative.

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I think Cancer prevention and awareness is my topic almost every time and I try to use my personal story and my professional knowledge to bridge the gap for health professionals to understand the importance of cancer prevention and health habits!


I am so thankful for this challenge. I have wanted to begin expanding my Keynote skill set.