Tag Archive for: patient advocates

Patient Advocacy: 10 Tips For Creating A Powerful PowerPoint Presentation

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Patient advocacy involves sharing your unique knowledge and experience with a disease or condition with the ultimate aim of raising awareness and influencing people to effect a desired change.

For us to be able to effectively advocate for our cause, we need to have a variety of advocacy tools in our toolbox. I shared tips and techniques with you last month for improving your writing skills. For this month’s advocacy skill, I want to focus on designing impactful slide decks.

Many times when asked to speak at a conference or event, we turn to PowerPoint to help us tell our story and make our key points more memorable. If you’ve ever sat through a boring slide presentation, you’ll know there’s an art to creating a great slide deck. The following tips will teach you how to avoid creating a boring presentation – the so-called “death by PowerPoint” syndrome.

Let’s start by preparing the ground.

1. Decide What You Want To Say

A good slide deck begins with thorough preparation. Before opening PowerPoint, ensure that your message is clear. A common mistake is to launch PowerPoint, add a slide, think of points, and then add more slides.

If you find that you have several messages you would like to deliver, challenge yourself to write down your core message in one or two clear sentences.  Once you have a clear focus for your talk, you can then group your other ideas around it.

Start by jotting down answers to the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this talk?
  • What level of knowledge will your audience have?
  • What do you want them to know, feel, or do after they have heard you speak?

Your presentation should always have a clear purpose, something that the audience walks away eager to do. It may help to start by identifying the main takeaway you want people to remember – and then work backward to figure out how to get there.

2. Gather Supporting Facts and Figures

Which key facts and figures are you going to present? Could you incorporate any research studies to make your message stronger?  You can use diagrams and charts (PowerPoint has a selection of shapes and SmartArt) to help you present information in a visually appealing way.

3. Structure Your Points

Now it’s time to organize your key messages and research points. Following a structure helps you stay on track and helps your audience follow along with your points logically.

Prepare the opening to your presentation. What would you like to share? Statistics, or a research study from Step 2? Or perhaps you’d like to share your personal story to introduce your work. As I wrote last month, one of the most effective ways to capture attention is by sharing a story. Your brain reacts differently to a story than it does to any other type of information, including straight facts and data. While facts and figures engage only a small portion of the brain, stories engage multiple brain regions that combine to create rich emotional responses.

Next, order your main points in a way that will make sense to your audience. Reflect on your key points and how you might emphasize them.

Finally, decide on the take-home message or call-to-action you want to deliver to your audience and how you will do so. Your call to action should convey a sense of urgency. Why is it critical that they hear your message and take action right away? What will happen if they don’t do anything?

4. Get Creative With Your Slide Design

Now comes the fun part – designing your slide deck. Remember you don’t have to stick to the standard over-used slide templates provided by PowerPoint. Get creative and design your own customized template with your own choice of colors and logo.  The design tool Canva is a super tool to help you with this.

5. Less Is More When It Comes To Text

One of the main causes of boring slides is overloading the slide with too much information. When too many details appear on the slide, your risk losing the audience’s attention. Think of PowerPoint as a visual background to your presentation. It is not your talk. You want your audience to listen to you, rather than read the screen.

Present one key point per slide so that the audience can fully process each point before moving on to the next idea. The information is easier to understand when presented one point at a time, and the audience is less likely to experience information overload.

6. Choose Fonts With Care

When selecting fonts for your presentation, keep in mind that how you present your text is an important factor in making your slides clear and compelling. As a general rule, sans-serif fonts like Arial, Veranda, and Helvetica work well for headlines, while serif fonts like Palatino, Courier, and Times New Roman work well for body text.

If you’re presenting in a large room, use a font size that everyone can read. If possible, you should test your slides on the screen you’ll be using to present to determine the font size that works best.

7. Maintain Consistency

Stick to a consistent visual theme throughout your presentation. Use a grid system on your master slide pasteboard to keep your layouts well-structured and clean.

8. Add Visual Appeal

Find some compelling images to capture the audience’s attention. To ensure that your image looks good when blown up to full-screen proportions, choose an image with a high resolution. Be wary of using images from Google unless they’re licensed under “Creative Commons.”

Aim for one image per slide. More than that looks cluttered and is less impactful. When adding text to a background image, choose an image with plenty of “whitespace” so that it can be read clearly. If your background image lacks whitespace, use a blur effect or a gradient fill when adding text.

Slides with animated transitions should be used sparingly. The gradual slide-in or fade-in of the next slide can add a touch of style to a presentation, but on long presentations avoid excessive use of transitions from slide to slide or animated bullet points.

9. Make Your Slides Accessible For All Viewers

Did you know that PowerPoint has a built-in Accessibility Checker to help you prepare your slides for people with disabilities?

Go to File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility to find this feature.

10. Rehearse and Rehearse and Rehearse

Finally, practice your presentation with your slides until you feel confident delivering your speech in front of an audience. The best PowerPoint tips won’t help you if you trip over your slide transitions or if you can’t fit the number of slides within the time allotted to you. You can practice your presentation using PowerPoint’s Rehearse Timing feature.

I hope you found these tips useful. Giving a presentation can be stressful, but you can be more confident doing so knowing that you’ve designed an impactful slide deck.

Best of luck with your next presentation!

Empowered #patientchat – Patient Access: Let’s Talk Health Data

You’re Invited! We hope you’ll join us for our next Empowered #patientchat discussion on patient health data.

We’ll chat about how gaining access puts you in control of healthcare decisions, controlling your health data, privacy concerns, and more!

Guiding our discussion will be the following Topic (T#:) Questions:

T1: What’s the first step in getting and controlling your health data? #patientchat

T2: Why is it important for patients to see their health data? #patientchat

T3: What needs to be in place to support two-way data sharing in healthcare? #patientchat

T4: What are some tips and cautions when protecting your health data? #patientchat

T5: How do you feel about the sharing of health data for research #patientchat

BONUS: From NCI’s Provocative Questions: What methods can be developed to integrate patient-generated health data into electronic health records? #patientchat

We hope to see you Friday, January 10th on Twitter (or tchat.io/rooms/patientchat) at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern. Be sure to include the hashtag #patientchat in all your responses!

Empowered Patient Chats (#patientchat) are held every other Friday at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Eastern and during the chat patients and advocates come to learn from each other and discuss topics of interest to empowered patients.

Click HERE to learn more about the Empowered #patientchat Series plus read tips on how to participate.

I'll be at the Empowered #patientchat on Fri 1/10 1pm ET. Join me! Click To Tweet

Leveraging Social Media for Patient Advocacy #patientchat Highlights

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Last week, we hosted an Empowered #patientchat on leveraging social media for patient advocacy. The #patientchat community came together for an engaging discussion and shared their best advice and tips.

Top Tweets and Advice

Social Media Helps Your Connect with Others














Just Start





Think About When You Were Sick





Full Chat


Applying Patient Advocacy Initiatives to Your Patient Journey #patientchat Highlights

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Last week, we hosted an Empowered #patientchat on applying patient advocacy initiatives to the patient journey with special guest Seth Rotberg (@Srotberg15). Seth is a rare disease advocate and motivational speaker who is passionate about bringing his personal experience to better support the health community. The #patientchat community came together and shared their best advice and tips.

Top Tweets and Advice


You Have Power





Be Confident





Patient Advocacy Has Benefits



Full Chat


WEGO Health: Helping Others and Transforming Healthcare

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WEGO Health:

100k+ Patient Advocates, Influencers & Experts –

Helping Others and Transforming Healthcare

Elevating the patient voice

With a mission-driven purpose, WEGO Health has supported its Patient Leader network’s advocacy efforts for over 10 years now. With more than 100k patient advocates, influencers and experts within its network, the company gives its members a communal place to elevate their voices.

Members of the network are provided educational resources, leader-to-leader connections, speaking engagements, rewards for paid projects, and community recognition through the annual WEGO Health Awards.

Not only can WEGO Health Patient Leaders connect with each other and tap into patient power, but members can also connect and collaborate with healthcare companies of all types across the entire industry. This gives the network a real chance at transforming healthcare from the inside out – and in a variety of ways


Connecting with healthcare companies across the industry

Take for example a market research company looking to uncover insights from a target condition area. WEGO Health’s Patient Leader network can recruit participants that not only meet the research criteria, but it can also identify, qualify and recruit those that have a vast understanding of the condition and a broad online reach.

Reaching influential Patient Leaders through an otherwise private network is what draws the most sincere and authentic findings for these types of research projects. WEGO Health conducted a study among 433 patients across seven conditions and found that 75% of respondents share through private means, such as member-only groups, private phone calls, emails and Facebook messaging.

There are many more use cases where Patient Leaders and healthcare companies have collaborated, to make a true impact on improving the healthcare consumer experience:

  • Product design and development
  • Usability testing
  • Online community building
  • Speaking engagements
  • Clinical trial recruitment
  • App testing
  • Social media campaigns
  • Influencer marketing
  • Patient advisory board
  • Health data tracking
  • Content creation


Quality of vetted WEGO Health Patient Leaders

The quality of Patient Leaders is vastly more skilled and knowledgeable than the average patient. They are keen on navigating the healthcare system and can speak on behalf of their online patient communities. Patients tell the “what” whereas Patient Leaders tell the “why” and “how.”

A typical Patient Leader in the WEGO Health network reaches an average of 15k people monthly per member. More stats on WEGO Health’s Patient Leader network:

  • 150+ distinct health conditions and topics covered
  • Members average 5-6 different online health communities and social channels
  • 74% are members of multiple online health communities
  • Members are 5x more likely to contribute daily
  • 82% agree: “I go online to raise awareness of health issues”


Collaborating with healthcare companies large and small

WEGO Health offers healthcare companies the chance to connect with its Patient Leader network through both their full-service and self-service offerings:

  • Full-service: WEGO Health’s Solutions team offers end-to-end project management for pharmaceutical companies. Projects cover market research and influencer marketing tactics.
  • Self-service: WEGO Health Experts is the first digital matching platform that provides healthcare companies on-demand access to a diverse network of vetted freelance Patient Experts. Patient Experts are especially unique because they have online influence, professional skills and patient experience.

When healthcare companies collaborate with Patient Leaders and tap into patient power, the results can be profound.

Through WEGO Health, companies can connect with a trusted network of over 100k Patient Experts, leaders, influencers and advocates with patient power: broad online reach and deep understanding of healthcare consumerism.


About WEGO Health

WEGO Health is a mission-driven company connecting healthcare with the experience, skills and insights of patient leaders. They are the world’s largest network of patient leaders, working across virtually all health conditions and topics.

WEGO Health’s network collaborates with pharmaceutical companies, startups, life sciences companies, non-profits, agencies, government and all types of organizations across healthcare. WEGO Health offers enterprise and on-demand solutions that allow organizations to leverage patient experience and expertise in the design, development and promotion of their products and services.

Tag Archive for: patient advocates

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