Comedienne brought light touch to conference

It wasn’t all business at the NWOTA conference last Wednesday.
The day-long gathering featured workshops, speeches, and seminars beginning at 9 a.m. But when it was over, there was time for a little fun.
And when it comes to corporate entertainment, few do it better than Zandra Bell—a.k.a “Shirley Best.”
The Alberta-based Bell has been variously described as a comedienne and corporate comedy consultant, but Bell herself describes what she does as “infotainment.”
With her quick wit and enormous capacity to absorb detailed information, Bell has garnered a reputation across North America for her ability to make every performance specific to the issues and interests of her audience.
In the persona of Shirley Best, a 50-something campy, charismatic housewife embarking on a search for self-fulfillment, Bell kept the audience thoroughly entertained for 45 minutes of non-stop monologue—dealing with the very issues area tourist operators face every day.
Her depth of knowledge was all the more remarkable for being delivered in a rapid-fire and irreverent manner.
Bell said she researches the target industry, often by talking with contact people, and then puts her show together. It all sounds completely spontaneous, but is in fact painstakingly planned.
“My goal is to touch not just the ‘funny bone’ of my audiences, but their hearts, as well—to leave them with something lasting they can take back to their jobs after the show is over,” she remarked.