It’s the number one fear for many people, to speak in front of a large group. I have seen people shake, stutter and forget everything they wanted to say when faced with an awaiting crowd. Others turn into robots and let the information process out like a computer. But those who are comfortable and speak well can find it an enjoyable experience.

In my line of work you soon find out who the good talkers are. Granted, our lines are a little blurred and we skate on the edge of public speaker and comedian. But we do have important information to pas on and we are expected to make it amusing along the way. This is when a true pro shines. Quick-witted, entertaining and on the ball — the audience laughs, but more importantly, it also listens.

Once drag queens were known for putting audiences down – squashing their insecurities for a public laugh. I remember cringing at the Albury many years ago as an Asian tour group was dragged across hot coals by the drag queen on stage.

So when is a joke a joke? It is 2010 and boundaries have certainly changed.

Racism is not on — and every queen should be aware it doesn’t take long for word of such intolerance to spread.

Two topics that are ok, though do require some care, are religion and politics.

Both offer a wealth of quick lines and characters easily turned into crowd-pleasing one liners. Though with religion you do need to tread carefully at times.

I always think first about how I would feel about the comment if it were directed to me. That’s a pretty good gauge as to how your audience is going to feel. Though, if I am being entirely honest, you can get away with a hell of a lot more when your dressed in a wig, heels and a glittery frock!

Anyway my point is, if you say something then you have to be prepared to own it and the fallout from the comment.

Be prepared to cop a little criticism and use it to improve your game – it is always funny how much you can learn.

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