The conductor lady may be small in stature, but she is tall in spirit. I have visited my daughter's ward several times now, and each time, I have been fascinated by this wonderful conductor. She doesn't seem to have had any real formal musical training, and yet she feels and leads the hymn-singing from the heart. The members in this small ward really have no choice but to follow her. They don't dare NOT sing. (I get the impression that she would go after them personally if they looked down in their books too much or just didn't participate.)
Besides, you just never know what she will ask of the singers. Sometimes she signals the accompanist to drop out leaving the singers unaccompanied. Sometimes she indicates that the congregation should all sing the melody. Sometimes she insists on extreme pianissimo or fortissimo to enhance the meaning of the text. (You don't want to be caught singing forte when she just indicated subito piano!) This conductor really cares about the congregation and how they join in the singing. Clearly she wants them ALL to have a unifying and spirit-filled experience singing the hymns.
A music leader who knows what she wants to have happen and isn't afraid to do all she can to make it happen really exemplifies what it takes to be a good conductor. Her enthusiasm is what makes her conducting irresistible. She actually believes that the congregation will follow as she directs. She internalizes the music herself so that she hardly watches the music. She keeps eye contact with people in the congregation and the accompanist. What she doesn't know about formal conducting technique, she makes up for in can-do attitude. And she simply exudes LOVE --- love for the music, love for the message, love for the people, love for the Savior.
What works better than that? People respond to LOVE. They can't help themselves. As a conductor, be that person who loves what you do and transmits that love to your congregation. Engage them in the moment. They won't be able to resist joining you in singing the hymns with enthusiasm.