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Singing by numbers

Throw together Congolese vowels, opera singing and banking consultants, and what do you get? More confident banking consultants, apparently.

Business advisory firm Deloitte is using the services of opera singer Kathryn Hide to improve the confidence and presentation skills of 14 banking consultants. This involves strenuous warm-up exercises and group singing in Congolese.

“We use Congolese songs because they have long level vowels. English vowels have terrible diphthongs [a union of two vowels],” says Hide’s husband and business partner, Graham Singleton.

The pair run Make Yourself, a consultancy that works with bankers and business advisers who need performance skills training.

“We offer teambuilding, bonding and creativity through singing,” says Singleton. “It’s a fast way of bringing together individuals energising them and making them more productive.”

Deloitte consulting partner Chris Harvey decided to use Make Yourself after meeting Hide at a party and being intrigued by her ideas on the use of singing in building performance and presentation skills.

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