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Classic Rewind Episode: Booking Speeches in the College Market with Odell Bizzell

booking speeches in the college market
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Quote: “Colleges are corporations that sell education, but there are multiple opportunities to book business.” Odell Bizzell

Finding your niche and your market is so important in the speaking industry.  Picking your lane and realizing who that speaks to is essential in creating the business of your dreams.  Not only will that get you booked, but when done correctly, it can also get you a lot of repeat business.  On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we are thrilled to welcome my friend Odell Bizzell to share his experience of creating a very successful speaking business in the college market and what you can do to get booked there.

Odell is a nationally known blogger, speaker, author, and entrepreneur.  While in high school, Odell started a small candy retail distribution center that earned him over $75,000 while earning an academic scholarship to college.  As a successful keynote speaker, Odell has been featured in USA Today, Yahoo Finance, CNBC.com, and over 200 media outlets.

 

Read Full Transcript

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Jane Atkinson: Well, welcome to the wealthy speaker podcast where we are easing our way into the holidays we're thinking about 2022 and the opportunities that will bring.

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Jane Atkinson: And with that I wanted to continue our conversation about being market specific now today we're gonna be talking about getting into the College space and the amazing odell buzzell is here to walk us through it oh yeah welcome.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: i'm excited to be here elated to be speaking with you Jane but also excited to be speaking to the wealthy speaker podcast family.

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Jane Atkinson: Well, you did something for our wealthy speaker school that blew my mind, and for those of you who are in the school and are listening go and look for.

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Jane Atkinson: adele's presentation that we did I believe it's in the fire section of the school.

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Jane Atkinson: on getting paid to speaking, the College market, it was so good, and I really want to cover some of that ground again today.

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Jane Atkinson: For those of you who don't have interest in this market stick with us.

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Jane Atkinson: Because business is business, and I know there are going to be some nuggets that can apply here to other markets and you're also going to be inspired by adele story so let's start there let's start with your journey on how did you land where you've landed here today live in the dream.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah so speaking I as a youngster I always wanted to be in business for myself just didn't know what that looked like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I sold candy in high school and I had a vending machine and I actually own have part ownership in a barbershop when I was in college.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And all of it kind of crashed and burned, because I didn't know anything about business I just met some cool people.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: At some opportunities, I was popular in school, so people just kind of gravitated towards me, and I remember.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I was in college my dad was actually with me, I did a presentation at a large University in North Carolina where i'm from university of North Carolina Chapel hill.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I did a presentation, I was selling some like some kind of financial service product or something and the VP of finance at unc Chapel hill was like yeah we're not gonna buy, but you were very good.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So he was this, I want to encourage you, you were you were very good i'm like 1920 years old, all I heard was he didn't want to buy.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: All our I was like whatever.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So, then, I went through school I majored in communication.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: graduated at the beginning of what you know a lot of economists and historians are calling the great recession.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: 2007 2008 I had no idea what I was going to do Jane I didn't know I went to school to be on TV.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: to brag broadcast journalism and I didn't know so I graduate my public speaking Professor Dr pion he asked me, like everybody as college students So what are you gonna do next.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: What are you gonna say I don't know.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And he said, you should consider being a professional speaker and at that time I was, I was like what is that um i'd heard of les brown I heard Jim rowan and all that stuff but the way I looked at them was the way I looked at Kobe bryant Michael Jordan those just like well they're famous.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: right here legends.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Little people like me don't get paid to speak.

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Jane Atkinson: out the long way away.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah it just there's no way and i'm not famous i'm not rich, you know i'm actually mediocre student that barely got out of here so.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And he told me that most speakers aren't famous and all you need is a message and you need a market that will buy that message.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And he said just get really good refining your skills, he sent me to toastmasters and said just get really good and then you know fire market and so at 22.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I did 33 non paid speaking engagements between toastmasters volunteering in local nonprofits church all this stuff I said I want to speak, I did 33.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Non paid engagements and then I was like Okay, I think i'm ready to get paid the College market was just right there because my wife was still in school I just graduated.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so I would see speakers come and i'm like what I must be getting paid, I think I can do what they're doing, and so my first paid speech was February 18 2008 at rockingham Community college and I got paid a grand total of $600 to speak so that's kind of how we got here.

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Jane Atkinson: I love it I love it and, and please like let's all.

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Jane Atkinson: Just remember that $600 for an hour of your time is a lot of money.

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Jane Atkinson: right we kind of goof about that, but really $600 for eight hours i'm pretty good paycheck so congratulations that was in 2008 so I know you as the guru of the College space, I mean you have.

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Jane Atkinson: You have been there, done it got the T shirt and did you intentionally say look i'm good here i'm gonna really i'm gonna really go deep into this market was that a conscious choice of yours.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Absolutely, and it started, because as, and I know that you did you teach your your students and you talk about the podcast it's a journey.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: When you decide all want to speak, or I want to do this it's normally not Okay, you did a good speech, and now you got all these spin offs and now you're just traveling the world it didn't happen like that I was 20 I just turned 23 after I did my pay my first paid speech.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right um I was getting married may of that year I was still living with my parents and so $600 was a lot of money, I remember telling my mom when I was leaving I was a mom you pay $600 you know doctors don't get paid that much money in an hour be.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Rich I remember telling her that she said to me, she said.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah slow down a little bit like you know.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: don't quit your day job.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right, like all that stuff.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so it took some time for me to figure out the market figure out the timing figure out my message it took time, so it wasn't until February of 2013.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That I went full time and I was actually in it doing it, and so, then that part when I got into that it was like okay yeah that that income not being there for my day job.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah I felt it right, like, I felt Oh, if I don't get a speech.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: now going to be getting paid, so I had to go through all those arcs and different things like that, and when I I guess figured it out and i'm using air quotes for those listening.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: It wasn't until about 2017 where it was like I got it like I got it now, I can pretty much in this lane in the college lane, I can pretty much predict.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: boom boom boom boom here boom boom here there so, then I got signed with one of the biggest agencies in the in the space and I had an a conversation know based on your original question, do I want to go deeper.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: What do I want to do with some of my other contemporaries and associates have done do I want to expand.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Do I want to do all that stuff and, for me, I just thought.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: For where I am right now in my personal life and all of that what's familiar is cool right now, for me, so I just went deeper started an association in the college market.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: With my business partner fellow speaker and mentor mine Stan Pearson, and so what we did was if I if I went to corporate or I decided to put a lot of effort and energy into corporate.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Then I would be trying to go, for you know bigger contracts 10,000 15,000 etc, etc, or we can start our own association.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: and basically being entity that other speakers come to we can help grow them they pay us, and then the schools can pay us to be a part of association and we so it was just kind of like for me i'll go deeper.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: and make up in the revenue what I might miss for a corporate speech, knowing that I get book 40 times a year in the college space now without and i'm not saying this to sound a certain way, but without much effort it still takes effort.

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Jane Atkinson: You know it's doable and you know it, and you can do it, and you can rinse and repeat it right.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right absolutely, and so I know that, and I can depend on that my family can depend on that and then as we're building them up right and we can grow that and go different ways, now we have this conversation in two years.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: It might I might say, well you know I figured out this corporations here in the tech space there look like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: i'm I figure things out because we're always progressing or right now.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Specifically i'm going deep.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I want, I want to be the I want to be the guy and the entity that people come up to that I was missing when I came up.

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Jane Atkinson: let's give a shout out to two things number one Nam CA and a MCA what's the URL for that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yep Nam co web.com Nam co web COM.

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Jane Atkinson: And a MCA web.com so we'll put that in the show notes was the organization that you signed on with was that campus speak.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Now, was for college for life.

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Jane Atkinson: college for life okay.

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Jane Atkinson: relax those of you who are wanting to get into the space.

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Jane Atkinson: There is a campus speak, there is a college for life organizations who do book speakers in to the College market now let's talk a little bit first let's talk about fees and then I want to break down who books what because I think there's really it's an interesting space that way.

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Jane Atkinson: So what do you think is the top and of the fees, I have a number in my mind i'm going to write it down and tell me.

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Jane Atkinson: You tell me what you think your number.

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Jane Atkinson: Is that's at the top end of the College space.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah the top in the college space in and I just want to add context to this for one speech.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Not one contract I just I just want to get that out there, like one speech you show up 45 minutes i'm a keynoter.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: My preference, so I prefer to keynote.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I don't like to do a lot of trainings that are three four hours long of.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: course I do them right, but my keynote starts at 5500, and so I am at the top for non celebrity type of people.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: is pretty.

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Jane Atkinson: I wrote down 7500 because I feel like that's kind of the window where it starts to close, for you.

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Jane Atkinson: Somewhere i've heard, and the reason I said 7500 was because of josh shipp.

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Jane Atkinson: yep who is someone who's in that space he's the one who gave me that other figure Okay, so we kind of have the top end and people starting out in the market.

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Jane Atkinson: In the wealthy speaker 2.0 we've talked about 1500 and you're in the game that's just an arbitrary number really 600 and you're in the game really yeah oh no is in the game and 600.

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Jane Atkinson: So I just want you to know that you, you start charging what you feel comfortable with knowing that there's only you're only going to go up from there.

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Jane Atkinson: Right so okay let's talk about the different kind of chunks of business that there are inside the College space break them down for me.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Well yeah I want to First let everybody know that colleges are corporations that sell education.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: mm hmm so some people when they hear the fee that here 7500 day here she did 500 again we're talking like what like to come in one time to speak to one audience boom that's it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: But there are multiple opportunities to do multiple different things and i'm going to break down some of those things as we move forward, but under I changed the way you think about it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: colleges are institutions their companies their companies, so I wanted to add that, because when you think of a company you think of different departments.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right in the companies.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: colleges, are the same way and.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: These departments that i'm going to lay out for everybody they're the ones that i've been booked in the most there are more, but these are the ones i've been booked in the most is first of all new student orientation.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And that could be you know new student orientation or it could be called New student programs anything with new students.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah then there's diversity equity inclusion, it could be multicultural affairs, it can be diverse, it could be called diversity, the office of diversity equity inclusion there's that there's the office of student life.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And when student life you basically have the same department, it might have different names, so it might be student life.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: might be student activities.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: It might be student leadership and engagement, it might be something like that, but it's basically student life, then you have residential life.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: or housing and residential life, and those are the individuals that oversee students getting into dorms and you know, making sure that they're they're matched with their roommates and.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And all those different things.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Then you've got fraternity and sorority life.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Fraternity and sorority life is huge it's it's out of all of the ones I would say, as far as the the size, meaning, can you get a bigger fee, can you get paid more its new student orientation.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Then student life and for eternity life are kind of the same so you're looking at.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: A whole different pot of money at a larger school at a mid major school or something like that then there's SG air student government association.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And some smaller schools is called student Council or whatever, these are the leaders, the student leaders at a school that are like the President, the student class President.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: The the senior class President all these different people they bring in people for their own purposes and many schools, then there's athletics.

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Jane Atkinson: Wait there's more.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: there's more.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: there's athletics, and I mentioned athletics i'm going to go back through some of them to add some some more context.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: athletics is.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: is on the rise, because normally what they would do Jane is they would bring somebody in to rah rah the student athletes or to teach them something specific like financial literacy or something.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Yes, alive right life skills interviewing skills stuff like that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Well, the nc double a.

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Jane Atkinson: s released the roles.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That you can make money off of your name the cracking.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Yes, so that created a whole new department.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah and I am for so For those of you listening and I will name image likeness so they're gonna bring in speakers for that to teach them well how do I use my name image and like how do I turn this into a business, how do I do this, entrepreneurship, etc, etc.

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and

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Jane Atkinson: Not because you know so much about these spaces already like is this interesting to you.

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Jane Atkinson: Absolutely.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah absolutely I have a background in sports.

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Jane Atkinson: model for this you've already got like a great following, and this can be that can be really good.

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Jane Atkinson: Deep dive into a deep dive sector for you.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah I got a format there's one more I didn't share.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: there's one more and I just call it trio cri oh trio trio is a grant funded program that is connected in all 50 states to a college normally.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Like 95% of So if you work with trio there a college is going to pay you because they're connected is a government funded program they give over a billion dollars, with the be money for programming and for staffing how billion, with the be the government gives them every single year.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And their whole purpose trio.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: is to encourage students whose parents didn't go to college to go to college to get advanced degrees, so all of those departments, that I just listed.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That they have paid me multiple times and if you're thinking about the College space or you're like I think, maybe I have a message for college students.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: It would help for you to look at those departments and i'll just.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Give a couple examples i'm not going to go through all of them.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah but.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Remember colleges are corporations that still education, the reason why new student orientation always put them first is because the whole purpose of a college is the brand new students in.

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Jane Atkinson: And it's a revolving door, and so you get to go back every single year and do all of the new students, I mean if you can figure out a product like toothpaste, which you have to use every single day if you can be consumable like toothpaste odell.

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Jane Atkinson: Her new student orientation is going to happen every single year, and probably more than once a year right because some of them have different start times is that right.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Absolutely So there you could do it in America, normally, depending on what region you're going to go late August.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: early September when school start, but also at the beginning of the Semester in January, they have transition or students that you know, a transfer it transfer from other schools, so they need smaller orientations, but but they're still available there and to jay's point.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Having when you get a new student orientation, I remember a client telling me this because I had no idea and I remember her telling me.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: She said i'm gonna get you into the orientation market you don't do orientation speeches, I was like honestly didn't know that they had them I did a leadership conference at a university and then they said oh you'd be a great speaker for our new student orientation, I was like okay.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: cool sounds good.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I get there Jane is 3000 kids in the audience and i'm like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Oh, they said Oh, excuse me, we only want you to talk for 20 minutes now because we have to do this and i'm like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Okay gosh darn it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: he'll getting paid the same right, I think I can make it work.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And the thing about it is that gives you more opportunities to feed into other departments, because other people are there.

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Jane Atkinson: Those students are then going to move into different places and they're going to remember you, and then they move into leadership and they'll remember you and.

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Jane Atkinson: So you'll be able to follow a student around on their journey through student life residents into their fraternity and athletics, if they are one and then potentially even.

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Jane Atkinson: My goodness, I mean the into leadership positions so really the opportunities are incredible at this level, so.

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Jane Atkinson: let's talk a little bit okay so new student orientation definitely put a star by that one because there's a rotating group of audience and you're gonna get a lot of opportunity there, what else should we put a star beside you said student life fraternity sorority.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Put a star by by those.

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Jane Atkinson: About trio.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Definitely put a star by trio.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: As long as.

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Jane Atkinson: athletics, and then I oh.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah okay.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Those who don't want us to look.

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Jane Atkinson: At that if you start with just those five I mean that could be incredible and I just I just want people to understand that there's a lot of space to go and play now when you go in, I know what the lower education levels at.

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Jane Atkinson: middle school and high schools, a lot of times a school district will bring you in and you'll do several districts at once and and they kind of really.

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Jane Atkinson: They will use you as as much as you're willing to be used so is that the case when you go into do a college event can you do multiple events in one in one shot or is that less likely to happen at this level.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: You got to be intentional about it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Okay, and that's the biggest thing i've done tons of junior colleges or Community colleges that have multiple campuses.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And they're just like i've been a Florida.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: hey come to all four of our campuses for this rate i've been in Wisconsin Texas, where they have multiple campuses connected, so you can do it is just you have to be intentional and kind of see the idea to them to let them know that that that's possible.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Because one thing I tell a lot of the people that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: come into my world through variety of channels to podcast through clubhouse through whatever, and I say the people that are booking you are not usually business minded people.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right, so you have to know that they probably wouldn't think of the idea, but if you give them the idea, and they like you already they'll at least entertain the idea.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so that that's the big thing, making it easy for them to pick you and say hey Jane I see that that you, you have this event here, but you also have a sister campus over here.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right could, could I do I would be open to doing.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: This right, and then you can you can talk about that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: With them increase your fee and have you know take advantage of the time right of you, being in the area.

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Jane Atkinson: Now some of these groups will be student volunteers and will they evolve, which ones of the of this list would be like a new student volunteer every time and how do you find out this information, are you calling someone in administration to ask those questions.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: See, that is a great question I don't think anybody's actually ever asked me.

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Jane Atkinson: That question before we're going deep today, I think.

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Jane Atkinson: all the way down the rabbit hole.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: For sure so students.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: are going to be in charge normally of S GA.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: and

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah student government normally normally they have more say with the student life activities and fraternity and sorority life.

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Jane Atkinson: Right.

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Jane Atkinson: I like the volunteers.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Usually it's a decision maker a professional a higher education, professional that is giving them the yeah giving them the directions.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah like an administrator would be their counselor or their mentor to help them do their job if they are some sort of elected official right in.

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Jane Atkinson: Right in an association okay all right Well, this is for those of you listening in who are interested in this market, I hope that you have.

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Jane Atkinson: gotten some great ideas here let's talk a little bit about we mentioned dei as a well let's go there first we mentioned dei as a division let's also talk about it as a topic so when you say dei there are.

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Jane Atkinson: Areas of the organization, whose focus is this explain it and then let's talk about topics for the various different situations.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah so diversity equity inclusion has evolved even since i've been speaking it's evolved, a great deal.

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Jane Atkinson: In the last two years, right.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah it's it's evolved a crazy amount and, so now it is more more on the subset of leadership, because it used to be like this.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Extra curricular thing.

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Jane Atkinson: Would you say it was an afterthought, but they thought they needed it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Right now it's.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Now I gotta do.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I have to do it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: they're they're gonna book people that have, and I hope if you're listening or taking those is a great time to take notes, they want something familiar with a unique perspective.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So it's not enough and when we're talking be asked specifically right now it's not enough for you to say oh you everybody has you know, a.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: bias sees everybody is you know they they have their own prejudices or whatever you gotta learn how to turn off your unconscious or turn on your unconscious bias, or whatever Okay, we great, but can I get a little more like they're looking for, can I get a little bit more how to do it.

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Jane Atkinson: In student life, it looks like this.

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Jane Atkinson: Right right.

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Jane Atkinson: Civic examples of micro aggressions and stuff like that you're getting right down to the nitty gritty and.

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Jane Atkinson: Absolutely understand so Okay, this is a Is this a topic that you go into it all in your own talk in your own speaking.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah and and i'll give everybody, just a quick example of how I do it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Okay, because for those of you not listening or not viewing me right now i'm i'm black identifies being a black man.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so people kind of make assumptions that oh you're black so you're going to give us a diversity lesson on etc, etc, and i'm like no.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I don't I don't talk and I tell people i'm not a diversity speaker and i'll even go as far as for marketing purposes to say I in fact I don't think the biggest problem we have is diversity, I think the biggest problem is communication.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So I talked about it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: From a communication lens.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Because my whole tagline.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Is I work with organizations that want their leaders to develop the communication skills necessary to thrive in a diverse workplace.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So when I talk about it like that It distinguishes me it's like oh so he's not gonna be the one that comes in here and talks about unconscious bias micro aggressions.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And all this stuff he's going to talk about.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: The best way to respond to it react to it in an inner personal setting oh okay so then it's they can categorize me that way because they're still going to think i'm a diversity speaker, which is fine, they pay me.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: that's fine whatever you think that's cool but adding something familiar with the unique perspective.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I think is is something that we all do so like you said student life looks like this.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: um if you're if you're living with somebody differently residence life, it looks like this, these are some things that we have to be able to do and work through and so that's what I would add, if somebody's looking to go there, so it's a focus on that.

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Jane Atkinson: So you've even gone, you know nish down in terms of that particular topic you've gone down and said it's not just the Ai its communication.

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Jane Atkinson: Is what I wrap it all out and so you're a specialist within a specialty and.

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Jane Atkinson: I really love that and I think that that's What helps you be so hot, I mean you are, you are booking up a storm talk about during coven you were doing a lot of virtual work.

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Jane Atkinson: I didn't know until you told me that there was a lot of virtual work going on for schools for for universities and colleges, I thought that was very interesting.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah it's colleges are trendy right there trendy to kind of pay attention was going around the world, and then they kind of mirror that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: So every and for history i'm sure somebody working on a book or books, already been released in the speaker world were talking about you know March, whatever it was for me it was march 13.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I was, I was actually speaking at Idaho in Idaho for the first time i'm in Idaho for the first time at a student leadership conference.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I was supposed to supposed to do two sessions.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And they said, my second session I had to move it up, so I didn't get a break, because they were ending the conference early.

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Jane Atkinson: quick.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so I was like cool that's fine with me and then i'm on the plane ride home and my agents like hey man.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: This guy cancel and i'm like all right yeah this whatever, but then that kept happening over and over and over again so for about two weeks and I tell everybody this I was, I was a little bit worried for about two weeks because i'm like wait a minute.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I got all of these events knocked off the calendar and we don't know what's next we have no idea what's next.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so what I did, and this is, this is the lesson everybody for the people that had hired me I just reached out to them to say.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: hey I hope you're good hope you got your toilet paper whatever like whatever it was it the town's I just reached out and they responded and said so, what are you doing.

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Jane Atkinson: Are you doing yeah.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I said I am waiting for the good news that things are opening back up and one of my clients said, where do you do virtual and i'm like Of course I do.

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Jane Atkinson: What do you mean and that's that's kind of how it happened um.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: that's really kind of how it happened, I was kind of like do you do virtual and then I was like yes, I do do virtual.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah let's let's do some virtual stuff and then Jane what what continue to have it for about the next year is that more and more people got on my calendar to do virtual.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And in like one span I had like 23 paid talks in in like five weeks ago is ridiculous i'm in my grandma's basement that's where my office is.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: I was, I was here all the time.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Doing paid work, and it was it was great, but it set a precedent also so I wanted to share all of that, just to say, instead of precedent.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: For the virtual piece being valuable to because I think a lot of times and speakers that are a little more seasoned than me that all the virtual things gonna pass.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Only to do that.

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Jane Atkinson: I said that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: i'm not talking about you.

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Jane Atkinson: want for it to pass.

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Jane Atkinson: Right that's what it's wishful thinking, I just wrote an article about you know what's coming next we have.

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Jane Atkinson: A new variant we have some stuff on the horizon what's coming next and the good news is there's opportunity out there and odell just spelled it out for you, and that is that you can do multiple you can do multiple things in one day what's the most.

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Jane Atkinson: Virtual events you've done in one day three.

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Jane Atkinson: I don't know how you do it because it it's it's a lot of energy coming through the lens and i'm.

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Jane Atkinson: asked when somebody can do three in one day.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: It is is the end and i'll say this really quick before you go to the next point.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: As a as a speaker, as somebody has been doing this for you know, over a decade, I prefer in person from the speaker standpoint from the deliverance from the performance aspect from a business side of it.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah it it's kind of a no brainer.

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Jane Atkinson: What about family like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That oh God says about that.

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yeah.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: No.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: But i'm so i'm married for those i'm married, I have three younger kids 12 year old eight year old and a five year old and.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: If you're doing this business and you're good at it you're traveling a lot, so this last year has been great for me because i've been able to come home every night for the most part.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And now, things are kind of ramping back up a little bit and i'm i'm looking at the business aspect of it and that's another reason why for those listening.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: He want to make sure that you can like focus your energy that's why I love when when Jane says hey pick your lane by pick that lane dominate don't dabble.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: don't dominate on that lane, and then, when you when you have more money we have more opportunities, you can say you can tip tip tip your toe in this.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: pool or this portal, you can figure it out, but I mean we're all just figuring out how we can best serve but also maximize our income and our impact yeah.

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Jane Atkinson: love that all right final question here let's talk about the kinds of topics that you think are now I don't want anybody to.

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Jane Atkinson: think that we're suggesting go and do that topic I want you to go and do the topic that you're great at and just take this into account and say Oh, is there a way for me to adjust slightly.

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Jane Atkinson: You know, when people ask me what topics are hot with the intent that i'll speak on that.

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Jane Atkinson: there's a misalignment there that may not be your expertise, so we want you to do what's at the core of your expertise, what would you say is hot right now we've talked di already, we know that one's hot what else.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: um as far as topics go I kind of have.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: A list of topics that are always going to get booked at colleges so anything that has to do with leadership is going to get book.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: we've already talked about diversity equity inclusion.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Is general motivation.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And for the new student orientation group for the trio group general motivation steel sales there's productivity.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That sales in the college space, because you could kind of lump that into time management.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: You know, positive study habits different things like that.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Then you have student success because again they want their students to be successful, so if you can add something.

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Jane Atkinson: Setting and stuff like that them to because you know there's a lot of things that I think we take for granted that we do every day that a student, a young mind.

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Jane Atkinson: I mean les Brown was the one who fed it to me what read a book make my car the university on wheels know dawned on me at 25 years old, it didn't even occur to me to do those things, so all of these life skills are really helpful for these young lines.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Absolutely and i've i've like I learned from younger people to.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: 36 as we're recording this so there's there's a group of guys they're in their early 30s and they they hit me with this quote, which is along the lines of what you just talking about what entertains you trains you.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I share that at the audience's that I go to and they're like oh my gosh he's right like.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: it's like their minds blow up, but if I told them who the quote came from they wouldn't know who was.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so you have an opportunity like you said Jane you can implant stuff in their minds that we take for granted that we're like well, I have to align my life I have to do this, mental health mental wellness mindfulness that's something else that is.

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Jane Atkinson: A hot topic.

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Jane Atkinson: Right now, mental health right.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Absolutely relationships positive healthy relationships, because their sexual abuse that happens on college campuses there's a lot of these things.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: financial literacy and also your physical health and wellness so all of these things.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Are things that colleges are looking to bring to the forefront, so that they can build the students up and they can teach them and here's something else, want to add really quick.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: If you're like me who actually did stuff backwards, a little bit I wrote a bunch of books, before I really got into speaking because I like writing.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And I wrote a bunch of books, based on the stuff that I wish I would have known in college didn't even know, there was no marketing.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Like genius behind it, I was just like I wish I would have known about this I wish I would have known about that you can sell a series.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: To colleges and say hey I have a financial literacy book, I have a book on motivation grit resilience, I have a book also on student success, so I could come in speak three times a year to this group.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: areas for the for the very low value fee at this, and so, then then that's where and negotiations that's where I start I start there and say well hey if you want me to do multiple things want me to do this.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: it's going to be.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: 15 K is going to be 17 K, depending on what it is, and then they usually walk me down to the always just come in and do one it's like yeah okay.

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Jane Atkinson: I love it I love it I love talking to TAO I miss you on clubhouse odell and I met.

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Jane Atkinson: On clubhouse there were you know, even though i've decided to kind of step back a little bit and maybe pay a little bit more attention to linkedin live.

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Jane Atkinson: I love that I met you and stand and Dr josh, and I mean I just feel so lucky to have been exposed to all of the cool people in your world, and I was very happy for the Wednesday mornings that we did spend together over the course of about six months or a year was really fun.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Well, I appreciate you and as always i'd say you're a legend I was reading your book, when I was working grinding away at the jail.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so, this is a full circle moment for me, I remember listening to your podcast the years of part of my university my mobile university.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Listening to the podcast trying to figure out this whole speaking thing, so I just wanted to say that if you're listening if you're in James world staying James world is better for you and change the world.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Listen to everything she's saying and you'll be able to do really great things in the speaking business.

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Jane Atkinson: Listen, we have some crossover people, because the Nam let's talk about Nam cam.

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Jane Atkinson: And what it is that you do for people, not only do you help them understand the College space, but you also do introductions and I think that that is pretty darn cool so tell everybody a little bit more about Africa.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah nampo so nampo stands for the National Association of masterminds and co curricular advancement.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And so what we do on one side is we bring all the hire professionals from all the departments.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That plan co curricular events that's key co curricular event, so the event is going to pay you that's that's aside from the.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Major academic curriculum, so we kongregate assemble all of those individuals, give them unique professional development, we teach them how to use their skills in education, how to use their expertise to make money and then and all of that we just simply ask them.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Are you looking to book speakers and a few times a year, we have our showcases.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: we've all done a virtual boat we're going live in 2022 so depending on when you're listening to this, we might be, you know, having our first live event nanka.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: But a lot of associations Jane will give you an audience and say hey get up there and go speak right go showcase we just take it a step further, where it's like hey get up there and go speak.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: let's get your footage let's get all this stuff but hey let's go in a little room and meet all the people.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: That have raised their hands and said yeah I think i'm looking for a speaker and I can say hey Jane meet Stan Stan works in Missouri college and he's looking for a speaker on BA BA BA BA BA.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Know talk.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: And what we do, there is because Stan and I have been in the college game so long, we have hundreds of clients that we worked with and we're just able to make the introductions he.

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Jane Atkinson: writing a service for them, that is a beautiful beautiful thing and I love it I love it, I think that is terrific so we're going to put nazca web.com is that right.

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Jane Atkinson: In the show notes we'll make sure we put that there and people should reach out to you it's not a ton of money to join you in your organization and I think it's a really good investment if you're thinking about the College space.

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Jane Atkinson: We have people who come to us in the wealthy speaker school we just put out a notice to some people hey there's someone looking to hire.

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Jane Atkinson: For trainers, for the following states, and so I love when people come to us and say hey you know who's hot in these fields, we need some speakers and we love matchmaking and we don't take any money for it.

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Jane Atkinson: So uh oh now that's all it has been so great, to talk to you my friend i've missed, you and I hope that we get to catch up again soon and appreciate you being on the show today anything else that we need to share with people about you, before we sign off here.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: i'm about me know I think everything that about me has been said.

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Jane Atkinson: Would you like them to connect with you on social media, maybe.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: best way to connect with me is on instagram or linkedin i'm the most active on those two and.

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Jane Atkinson: instagram.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Oh del Brazil O D E ll be is easy oh i'm the only odell Brazil.

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Jane Atkinson: Come on, I really am.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: On there so and that is my real name.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: Everybody is my real name.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: The second.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh, the second.

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Odell A. Bizzell II: yeah i'm the second.

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Jane Atkinson: my eyes are a little blurry so I was actually reading your zoom name there and I saw I put a third one underneath okay.

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Jane Atkinson: Thank you so much for being here with us today appreciate you and for those of you tuning in hey, let us know was there some golden there for you.

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Jane Atkinson: Let us know leave us some feedback and review send me an email Jane at speaker launcher.com I would love to hear from you, and with that we will say see you soon wealthy speakers bye for now everyone.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Realizing the dream.  [1:30]
  • You need a message and a market.  [6:00]
  • Getting booked in the college market.  [11:00]
  • Rinse and repeat.  [23:00]
  • Offering a different perspective on DEI.  [26:30]
  • Making the COVID shift.  [31:00]
  • Topics that sell.  [36:30]
  • A bit about NAMCA.  [42:30]

Odell has partnered with over 200 colleges, youth organizations, and the military to reach tens of thousands of students.  His engaging and interactive presentations help students learn about the intersection of leadership and diversity and how to become more effective leaders in a diverse world. Odell has presented on the same stages as Super Bowl-winning coaches, national politicians, and celebrities like Stephen A. Smith, Dave Letterman, & Oprah Winfrey.

If you could use some great advice about breaking into a specific market, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll download and learn.

Links:

Odell’s website
Linkedin profile
Instagram handle
Odell’s call with Jane (for $100K Club members)
NAMCA
For College For Life
Campus Speak
TRIO Speakers

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