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The Silent Conductor



The Silent Conductor.


As a conference Speaker who does not speak, The Silent Conductor, Steve Barnett, is regarded as one of the world’s more unique inspirational presenters.


Steve was born and raised in Johannesburg and infused with the rhythms of South Africa. After studying BSc at Wits University, he joined SAVS (South African Voluntary Services) spending two years in a village school in rural Lesotho, teaching secondary school English and Mathematics in classrooms made of stone and mud, and developing a teaching approach that involved rhythm, music and dance.


He travelled for three and a half years, during which he built bridges in Turkey, farmed apples in Italy, ranched in Colorado, painted houses in San Francisco, built houses in Oregon, and hitchhiked to Alaska to see the midnight sun.


Back in South Africa, after a year as a professional photographer, and two as a manager/owner of an entertainment venue, he started a successful cabinetmaking business while raising a family. Driven by his passion for music and community building, Steve then made a life-changing decision to pioneer a corporate drumming concept for interactive team building—a concept that has since become a global phenomenon.


Continuing to develop and innovate, Steve then created a new technique of empowerment through non-verbal interaction and rebranded himself as The Silent Conductor.


Steve has spent the last 21 years sharing his unique non-verbal method of learning and leadership through musical metaphor in over 50 countries, and on six continents, including distant places like Iceland and Siberia. His many venues have included The Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Stadium in London. He was an Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony of the Cricket World Cup In Cape Town, coordinating the full participation of an audience of over 40,000. He has shared the podium with luminaries such as former President Bill Clinton and Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu has described him as having “an exceptional gift.”


Steve is equally comfortable ‘not speaking’ at venues from bush lodges to boardrooms, with audiences from cabinetmakers to cabinet ministers.

Steve Barnett

What People Say>

He has an exceptional gift


Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Imagine an audience of non-musicians becoming an orchestra naturally and effortlessly. Imagine the experience as a musical metaphor for highly successful organizational collaboration.


Steve Barnett is The Silent Conductor. Using only simple percussion instruments and charisma - and without saying a word - he inspires his audience to sculpt a symphony that is uniquely theirs. He says nothing, but the music his audience makes speaks volumes about leadership, communication, collaboration and synergy.


Prior to the event each member of the audience is supplied with a percussion tube instrument. These are designed to be easy to play but also effective and charming. There are five colors, each tuned to a different note.


Without speaking, Steve develops a rapport with the audience and an understanding of his signals using mime and physical comedy. Using visual instruction alone, he then introduces the tuned percussion instruments to the audience and beginning with simple beats, very quickly, a melody develops.


It doesn't take long for participants to come to the realization (a powerful WOW moment) that—though they are doing something seemingly simple—by performing in concert with their fellow participants they are creating cohesive and impressive music.


The orchestration ends with the participants up and out of their seats playing and dancing in in a coordinated choreography and celebration. To bring the objectives of the whole exercise into focus, the session ends with a short slide presentation that asks: “What happened?”, “Why did it work?”, and “How can it be applied to an organization?


If a group of diverse people can effortlessly make music without rehearsal – the audience is asked -  imagine the possibilities for focused and vision-led collaboration.


Bring music, unity, interaction and magic to an event with the Silent Conductor.

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