Speaking and Workshops

Looking for a brain science expert for your next conference, live event, podcast, radio interview or television show?

I convey brain science in a straightforward, relevant and engaging way, weaving in stories and strategies that promote peak performance, creativity, health, and well-being.

For professionals, I distil neuroscience, health psychology and principles of coaching into practical tools and strategies for use in the clinic, classroom or corporation.

For general audiences, I share my neuro-knowledge and top tips for better mental health and longevity.

I'm happy to work with you to create a bespoke talk and present face-to-face or virtually, based on your audience and requirements.



Popular topics include:

All In Her Head

Did you know puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are the most significant neurological transitions in women's lives?

Sarah discusses surprising lessons learned from writing two books about women's brain health (The Women's Brain Book and Baby Brain).

Learn about the latest neuroscience research on sex and gender, girls' and women's brain health, including early childhood, puberty, the menstrual cycle, the pill, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause & ageing. 

Women's health is not a niche!

Available as a bespoke talk or interactive workshop.

Click to read my series on women's brain health.

On the Same Wavelength.

Biological synchrony is one of Mother Nature’s tricks to ensure we bond and trust other people. Synchrony is like the social glue that holds groups together and enables cooperation.

When people experience trust, rapport, cooperation, sing or dance or share attention, their biology — heartbeats, breathing, hormones and brainwaves — synchronises.

This talk discusses up-to-date social brain neuroscience (most published since 2020!) underlying trust, rapport and the neurobiology of that feeling you experience when you’re ‘on the same wavelength’ as another person.

How can we create trust and rapport using the latest neuroscience? And can we do this in the digital age?

The Uncertain Brain

When day-to-day life becomes uncertain, your brain can’t predict 'what happens next'.

We all experienced extreme uncertainty during the Covid pandemic, but the world remains volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Fear of the unknown underlies many of our human anxieties.

Many behaviours humans typically deploy to relieve the emotional discomfort of ‘not knowing’ don’t help. Instead, they send us down a negative emotional spiral towards worry, hypervigilance, fear and anxiety.

We all vary in our tolerance to uncertainty, and different people deploy different coping mechanisms.

The talk includes seven neuroscience-based tools to build individual tolerance to uncertainty.

Click to read my article on uncertainty 

Neuroscience-informed coaching practice

Neuroscience provides a compelling lens through which coaches may view their client's thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

However, enthusiasm for brain science often outpaces the coach’s knowledge. The prevalence of neuromyths in coaching suggests a lack of neuroscientific literacy.

This talk addresses the opportunities and limitations of 'using neuroscience', busts some common myths, and provides three solid brain science findings that coaches can apply within their next session.

Includes discussion of:

  • emotion construction vs the 'lizard brain',
  • stress and habits vs the 'amygdala hijack,
  • visualisation, motivation and autobiographical memory (beyond mental rehearsal).

Available as a bespoke talk or interactive workshop. Appropriate for coaches, therapists, teachers and other helping professionals. 

Click to read my book chapter on neuroscience and coaching.


A rare science writer who is as powerful from the podium as she is on the page.

Dr Justin Coleman
President, Australasian Medical Writers Association

Dr Sarah McKay is the real deal. There are many people who have jumped on the ‘brain bandwagon’ without any formal qualifications in neuroscience. Not only does Sarah have the academic quals, having completed her PhD at Oxford University, she has that rare strength of being able to translate science into everyday practice. Sarah’s sessions focus not only on boosting brain-power but aim to help people live their best lives. I can’t recommend Sarah too highly.

Dr Suzy Green
The Positivity Institute

Past Speaking Events:

Nature Nurture & Neuroscience. Child and Adolescent Brain Development. Implications for Policy & Practice. Compass Seminars. New Zealand. March 2020.

International Association of Applied Neuroscience. Portside Conference Centre. In Her Head. Lessons from writing a book about the female brain. May 2019.

Australian Hypnotherapists Association NSW branch workshop. June 2019. REFIRE to REWIRE. 6 steps to rewire your brain (and master anything).

International Coaching Federation NSW branch workshop. The neuroscience of habits and coaching for change. June 2018.

Happiness and its Causes 2019. ICC, Sydney. In Her Head. Lessons from writing a book about the female brain. June 2019.

Genanzzano Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences. Science of Learning Conference. The Neurobiology of the Will and the Way. August 2019.

Writers Live – Dr Sarah McKay introduces The Woman’s Brain Book, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale. April 2018.

Nurture Your Brain for Life with Dr Sarah McKay. Five Dock Library, Sydney, NSW. April 2018.

Revive 2018. Sheraton Mirage. Sheraton Mirage 29 July 2018.

How to write a popular science book. Australasian Medical Writers Conference. Melbourne, VIC. August 2018.

9 Habits for Highly Healthy Brains. Golden Door. Hunter Valley, NSW. September 22 2018

In Her Head. Business Chicks. Movers and Breakers Conference. Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay. October 2018. *sold out.

Women's Wellbeing Symposium. Otago University, Dunedin, NZ. November 2018.


Expert Spokesperson & Brand Ambassador

I’ve acted as an expert spokesperson and brand ambassador for media campaigns for companies including SodaStream, Philips Lighting, Allianz Insurance and Alzheimer's Australia.

Today, neuroscience has a 'seductive allure', and I believe it's important to share evidence-based information and the latest research on the brain, brain health, mental wellbeing and applied neuroscience in a clear and easy to understand way.

If you’d like to explore working together, please connect me directly: drsarahmckay@gmail.com

If your query is related to The Women's Brain Book or publishing, please contact my literary agent Jeanne Rykmans at Cameron's Management: jeanne.ryckmans@cameronsmanagement.com.au 

Previous writing and consulting clients include: