There’s a reason why talent shows like The X-Factor and Australia’s Got Talent are packed with singers. As our society has shifted from the 18th Century entertainment – gathering round the piano for apost-dinner singalong – to 21st Century on demand music and videos, one thing remains. People really enjoy singing.
No matter how you choose to do it, any singing in your life is a good thing. Singing delivers a host of physical and emotional benefits including increased heart rate and improved breathing, lung capacity, posture and mood. Just like sport, it releases endorphin. And while singing alone is good, singing with others can be even better.
The trouble is, technology has removed us from singing. At the press of an iPod you can hear such good singing, we often sing less ourselves. Yet physiologically, singing connects us to a different part of our brain. The part that gives us pleasure. Singing as part of a larger group, hearing voices soar together, is even more inspiring and improves wellbeing.As an entertainer and speaker, I see this first hand at the end of my keynotes when I encourage the audience to stand and join me in singing the legendary aria NessunDorma. Without fail, people come to me afterwards to share how uplifting and motivating the experience has been. The ability to motivate, unite and inspire through song is incredibly powerful for organisations when it comes to creating engaged, happy, healthy employees.
In 2011, the Wellness Promotion Unit at Victoria University, funded by VicHealth, conducted a research project that examined ‘group singing’ and its associated health and wellbeing benefits. The report concluded that group singing is a powerful personal and social health promotion activity, with benefits such as increased self-confidence, empowerment, wellbeing and interpersonal skills, and lowered feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety.
While the research looked at wellbeing generated by singing, there is also research around how singing can help with difficulties –born out by the Creativity Australia ‘With One Voice’ program, the well-known homeless Choir of Hard Knocks, and Sing Australia community choirs.
Singing for health, wealth and motivation
Obviously there are the health benefits of improved breathing – which can lead to fewer sick days being taken. The breathing techniques promoted by singing are also useful for counteracting stress. When people are stressed, they hold their breath. Singing manages the breathing, which helps with anxiety and panic. If your employees are in a high-pressure environment, a lunchtime choir can go a long way to reducing stress levels. It’s almost impossible to sing and be stressed at the same time!
Most importantly, it is the sense of community that singing engenders within the workplace that brings greatest benefits. We sing at funerals and birthdays and all sorts of meaningful social occasions. It’s an important part of how we socially connect. When you’re singing with others, you’re part of something bigger than yourself – and that has immense benefit in the workplace.
It’s the key reason I sing live during any of my keynote presentations. Obviously on the physical level it wakes people up, gets air into their lungs and energises them. Plus it’s a big surprise – how often does a conference keynote speaker burst into song? Yet most importantly it is the level of emotional engagement and connection it causes that has the most profound effect…and that’s when the learning happens.
I finish my keynote by inviting the audience to join me in singingthe end of legendary aria NessunDorma. There’s a fun build up and for those who really get into it – they receive an endorphin rush and all leaveenergised and motivated.
Singing connects, it motivates – and for business, a motivated, connected employee is more likely to work harder and give that invaluable discretionary effort vital to successful, sustained companies. It has been found that organisations enjoy 26 per cent higher revenue per employee when employees are highly engaged (Taleo Research, 2009. Research by Towers Perrin (2003) also indicates that the more engaged employees at an organisation are, the more likely it is to exceed the industry average in one-year revenue growth.
Surely that’s something worth singing about?
An Australian Event Awards ‘Entertainer of the Year’, a music theatre star and co-founder of the world’s most booked corporate entertainment act ‘The Three Waiters’, Darryl’s keynote presentation ‘Hitting the High Notes’ is a compelling story withwalk-the-talk key take-home messages and is a ‘must see’ for conference attendees worldwide. He is a unique combination of entrepreneur, speaker and showman – a mesmerising blend of business smarts, engaging storytelling and live opera! It is a combination that has made Darryl one of Australia’s most in demand business and resilience speakers, headlining many Top 500 company conferences including the famed ‘Million Dollar Round Table’ in the USA.