An interactive keynote and pop-up exhibit that allows anyone to share their innermost pain anonymously.

The Concept

What’s Your Big Lie? (WYBL) is a breakthrough mental health program created by Jordan Axani based on the premise that each of us is living a big lie — and that it’s okay. 

We define a 'big lie' as, “something immense that we hide from the world, even though it defines us.” Often it’s the source of the anxiety, worthlessness, hopelessness and pain that we carry around every day.   

Extensive research shows that when we feel like we are living a lie, we are far more prone to clinical depression, less able to exercise rational thought and have a much harder time paying attention. Our brains go into a sustained state of panic as we wear masks on social media, at home, at work, and within our relationships. 

So, what if we shared these lies with those around us? Well, it might change our lives. 

Forever changed by this event.
— Samantha, a Freshman at Farleigh Dickinson University
Designed with the Government of Canada specifically for schools, companies and organizations looking to help their people feel less alone and more connected.
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Since 2016, What's Your Big Lie? has been presented over 200 times and has recieved over 150,000 submissions!
What's Your Big Lie Jordan Axani

The Keynote

In this 50-90 minute session, we lead audiences of up to 500 people at schools, companies and organizations to their own powerful realizations. 

Using phones and an anonymous platform, audiences submit their 'big lies' and other insecurities secretly. Their responses are filtered immediately and projected at the front of the room in massive letters. 

In that moment, you can feel a gasp of recognition as everyone realizes that they aren’t alone. Participants then respond back to the submissions verbally – not knowing who in the room it came from – offering messages of affirmation and hope, leading into a discussion about how we can build resilience and better support each other. 

This program was developed in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and a team of mental health experts in 2016, and it has been hailed as life-changing countless times. WYBL has been presented to over 150,000 students, teachers, parents, entrepreneurs and professionals across North America. Hundreds of institutions have used WYBL as a catalyst to build stigma-free cultures of openness, empathy and belonging. 

On-stage, Jordan helps people take off the “masks” they wear around others, leading them to accept themselves as they are, and enabling unprecedented peer support around the idea of living authentically.
— TEDx St. Mary
Jordan, you are giving people such a gift. When do we ever have the space to reveal ourselves in this way? And for the brave person who did so, you are not alone. So much love.
— Lit Evolution Presentations
Each What’s Your Big Lie? presentation is unique, but equally eye-opening and engaging. Strong schools and communities walk away even stronger.
— Haley Myatt, VP Student Life, Mount Saint Vincent University Student Union

The Outcomes

By the end of the event, attendees will have: 

  • A deep understanding of the of the pain and fears that their peers are experiencing 
  • A normalization and acceptance of their own struggles 
  • An inspired belief that sharing their struggles does not lead to shame 
  • A toolkit to encourage peer support and awareness of local mental health resources
  • A newfound realization that none of us are ever alone 

The Other Formats

Knowing that keynotes aren't appropriate for all situations, we've designed the program to be delivered in a couple different formats: 

  1. A pop-up exhibit that illuminates public spaces with messages:
    • Set up in student centres or common areas, we collect lies or answers to thought provoking questions about mental health and other issues with our anonymous technology. Using a series of projectors the responses are filtered and displayed in like a large art-like exhibit for all to see.
  2. A workshop designed to meet your organization's specific needs, such as a conversation about mental health in the workplace or sexual assault 
    • Completely customizable, this workshop is about meeting the needs of your organization. We'll work with you to design a program that meets your goals.
  3. A hybrid event, with a pop-up in the afternoon followed by an evening keynote and storytelling event 
  4. "What's Your Big Truth?" a softer version of WYBL that's geared towards kids in grades 4-7
    • The principles and goals are the same as WYBL: to ensure that kids realize that no matter how they feel, they are not alone.

Please contact us to discuss how our program can be customized to your needs. We're here to support you. 

What’s Your Big Lie encourages kids to look deeply within themselves in order to recognize and understand the persona they are presenting to others. Doing so enables them to tackle the issues they are facing and emerge with a truer sense of self.
— Greg Reid, Assistant Headmaster, St. Andrew’s College
Jordan stayed after his talks to have one-on-ones with the kids, and he sent some marvelous resources. Why I want to mention this is because we’ve had speakers who ask you what you want them to talk about and they can whip it together and it’s fine. But Jordan actually came to give us a message. It was personal, uncomfortable, raw and ultimately honest, and this is what we needed. Authenticity. His character is what Cawthra celebrated. His strength in discussing mental health issues, a very taboo subject, was formidable. Everything about him radiates honesty and in a high school, kids can sniff out a fraud in less than 1 minute. He was phenomenal. The information we gathered as a result of his visit will have an impact on how we deal with mental health moving forward.
— Melanie Riley, Teacher, Cawthra Park Secondary School, ON

The Audience

This program works effectively with the following audiences and can be customized for each:

  • A medium or large group of students, parents, employees or leaders looking to address mental health, connection and belonging within their community
  • A small team or group looking for an intensive team-building experience  
Don't know if it's right for you? We regularily customize the content and curriculum to meet an organization's needs. Let's talk!
That got real, real fast. Did not expect to be moved to tears first thing in the morning.
— Chris, Grade 12 Student, BC
I think many people realized they are not the person they sell themselves as and sharing that anonymously gave them a sense of self worth.
— Al Nutini, Strategic Prevention Lead, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
My 13 year old son was one of the students with you today, he came home with excitement in his voice and lots of info for the kitchen table… I can tell you, you helped my son today In ways that I couldn’t reach him!
— Dean Juneau, Parent, NB
Every now and then, if you’re lucky, you’ll come across a speaker who makes you feel like they are having a one-on-one conversation with you from the stage. If you’re even luckier, what they have to say is important and relevant. Jordan Axani is one of those speakers.
— Drew Dudley, Leadership Guru & Global Speaker
Jordan’s talk was a rare combination of truth, raw emotion and humour, the kind of talk that people remember because they were able to feel their own truths articulated in a way they didn’t know they needed to hear.
— Andrea Sampson, Co-Chair, TEDxToronto
Jordan pulled back layers to find truthful and vulnerable content that resonated with our audience. He hits the stage as a natural performer who knows how to reach out and connect with his audience.
— James Powell, Global Head of Brand, Me to We and We Charity

The Testimonials

Jordan’s talk was powerful, courageous and incredibly well delivered. His message inspired the audience to reflect on their own lives, in such a way that people could truly relate to him. When a speaker manages to bring the audience to laughter and tears, ending with a standing ovation, their star is clearly just starting to rise.
— Lisa Trudeau, Marketing Director, Centre for Social Innovation
Jordan uses himself to engage the audience in a playfulness of ideas, diminishing the fear associated with charting forbidden territory. His unapologetic honesty and willingness to start real conversations is what makes his talks not only engaging but absolutely necessary in a world that is moving away from authenticity and vulnerability.
— Sandy Rao, Senior Lead, Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network

The Gallery

Jordan brings a comfort or ease to the crowd. He has the ability to make everyone feel comfortable and willing to speak.
— Whitney Piper, Manager, Fleming College, ON
This program is a great opportunity to get students talking about mental health openly with their peers. A great approach to reducing stigma!
— Collette Robert, VP Equity, St. Mary’s University, NS
What’s Your Big Lie was an amazing and eye-opening program that provides a safe space for students to speak their truth with the world. It is accepting and inclusive when you see so many others in the room hiding similar issues. It shows you are truly not alone.
— Carissa Kolath, Northeast Community College