Providing quality healthcare is a beautiful topic. However, patient safety and medical error, not so much. The client was looking for a way to strike enough of an emotional chord with the audience to compel action, while also treading this sensitive topic appropriately. Your friendly neighborhood poetic voice was called in!
During my research, I was shocked as I discovered at the statistics around a medical error, and I knew I couldn't just deliver a warm and fuzzy feel-good speech. So I pendelumed the audience back and forth between the festivity of the wins and the seriousness of the charge. The moment I got them laughing and celebrating their success, I would turn on a dime to pull on their heartstrings and honor the tragedy of it. I also had them stand, hold up their pinkies, and deliver "pinky promises for quality care" throughout the speech. This juxtaposition of emotions and action created a speech rich with data, empathetic to challenges, and charged with hope and accountability.
Reports came in of nurses posting the words of the speech on their walls at hospitals. More individual requests for the video of this speech than any other. Hundreds of nurses have downloaded my Pinky Promise Pledge sheet. Conferences created their own Pinky Promise pledge that attendees made. Several nurses have emailed me saying that it transformed their work with patients. And these results have rippled throughout communities, improving the care of multiple patients, and making this one of my more popular catalog healthcare speeches.