Spotlight on Success

Written by Matt Dentino

8 Min Read 

Growing up, I was exposed to a diverse background in both the theatre; as part of “The Dancing Dentinos” family act, and a corporate landscape marked by decades of sales leadership. With these, I’ve discovered remarkable parallels between the two distinct domains, so I wanted to take a look at the fascinating intersection between theatrical and professional performance…

In the shiny world of theatre and the dynamic realm of corporate life, the spotlight shines bright on two essential elements: performance and connection. These intertwined elements not only shape the quality of experience but also, intriguingly, have a foundation in our neurochemistry. The neurochemicals Oxytocin and Dopamine play crucial roles in both arenas, transforming our interactions into rewarding experiences.

Oxytocin, often termed the ‘bonding hormone,’ lies at the heart of this correlation. On stage, actors strive to establish a palpable connection with the audience, breathing life into stories, emotions, and characters. A powerful performance elicits empathy, transporting spectators into the narrative world thanks in part to Oxytocin. As actors emote and engage, the audience’s Oxytocin levels surge, forging an invisible bond between them and the performers.

Likewise, in the professional world, Oxytocin plays a pivotal role. Leaders who foster genuine connections with their teams, or sales professionals who build connections with their clients induce a similar Oxytocin response. As they empathize, validate, and engage, an emotional resonance is created that mirrors the actor-audience bond.

However, Oxytocin’s influence is not limited to the creation of connections. The hormone also propagates a positive impact on trust and generosity, fostering collaborative and productive environments. It’s this sense of trust and shared purpose that makes a theatre troupe (or family act), work seamlessly or a corporate team outperform their targets effectively.

Alongside Oxytocin, the Dopamine reward system is also vital in these scenarios. On stage, when the audience laughs, cries, or claps, the actors experience a rush of this neurochemical. Dopamine’s reward signal reinforces performance, driving the actors to deliver with even more passion and zeal. A standing ovation or applause works wonders, not only for the actor’s self-esteem but also for their neurochemistry.

Similarly, when a professional achieves success – a fruitful meeting, a successful sales pitch, a breakthrough idea – the brain rewards them with a Dopamine hit. It motivates professionals to strive for excellence, fostering innovation and productivity. Like the actor’s applause, this dopamine-induced reward system drives performance.

Moreover, this reward is not limited to the performer alone. Just as an audience derives pleasure from a captivating performance, clients or team members also feel rewarded when their interaction with a professional is meaningful and productive. This shared sense of achievement and satisfaction further deepens the bond, creating a positive feedback loop that enhances overall performance.

To summarize, the theatrical stage and the corporate world are more alike than one might imagine. The dynamics of performance and connection, fueled by Oxytocin and Dopamine, permeate both environments. By understanding these parallels and the neurochemistry that underlies them, one can draw valuable assumptions.

Professionals can learn from actors’ ability to elicit emotional responses and foster connections, enhancing their leadership or sales skills. Similarly, understanding the Dopamine reward system can boost motivation and productivity, both individually and in teams as well as enhance sales and client connection, driving “Performance”.

At Braintrust we excel in providing people with the tools they need to understand the neuroscience of great communication.  If you are looking to enhance your performance, personally and professionally, reach out to us at or take a look at our Online Academy at

As the Bard wrote: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…” If you are ready to up your performance to an Oscar-worthy level, reach out today.

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