On the other hand, a choral conductor understands that the choir is made up of many individuals who need guidance for entrances and cut-off's, especially when they involve tricky consonants like "ch," "t," or "s." Vocalists also depend on the conductor for guides to shaping vowels and phrasing, as well as overall help to keep the lyrics crisp and understandable.
When I have sung under the batons of orchestral conductors, I remember how hard it was to cue into their moves. We singers could hardly distinguish an ictus let alone interpret other conducting maneuvers. Sure, we got that they were indicating mood and pathos, but we definitely were used to more spoon-feeding from our regular choral conductors. We depended on precise preparatory beats for breaths and entrances, plus clear cut-off's. Many singers do not have the training that band and orchestra players do when it comes to counting. Besides, it helps to be able to get to know the conductor and get used to his style. Usually, our choirs only got to sing with the orchestral conductor for special projects or a one-time performance. Not really enough time to truly get to know the conductor.
While attending a concert the other night, I enjoyed watching the conductor who was a world-renown orchestral conductor. Again, he was mainly conducting for the orchestra who did not need preparatory beats for taking breaths, or clear cut-off's to unite difficult consonants. I was proud of the choir to be able to do as well as they did without the benefit of beat patterns or even cue indications. They all had to count as precisely as clarinets and violins. Their diction was good, but maybe I could understand them because I knew the piece pretty well. Who knows.
Kudos to the choir for holding their own!