“We must consider diversity across all dimensions—diversity of topics, thought, and speakers. I spend hours scouring industry blogs, rankings, best-sellers lists, and customer referrals, not to mention combing through the business section of my local bookstore to identify speakers and topics that I think will appeal to learners.” – Shannon Luttge, Skillsoft
Within Skillsoft’s Leadership and Business portfolio, learners may discover a hidden gem—our Live Events. Live Events are a known treasure to most; however, some have yet to realize what’s at their fingertips. To understand more about Live Events before our next event — November 12 featuring Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, I sat down with our in-house curator, producer, and expert of “all things Live Events,” Shannon Luttge, Sr. Manager of Leadership Content at Skillsoft.
Nancy Santacesaria: Hi, Shannon. Thanks for taking the time to discuss Skillsoft’s Live Events.
Shannon Luttge: Hi, Nancy. I’m delighted to chat with you about our Live Events at Skillsoft.
Nancy: For folks unfamiliar with Live Events, what are Live Events?
Shannon: Live Events are 60-minute webcasts featuring industry experts, thought leaders, best-selling authors, and business school faculty. The webcasts are live and viewable through our Skillsoft and Percipio platforms. Each Live Event comprises a 45-minute keynote presentation, followed by a 15-minute live Q&A moderated by our host and veteran news journalist, Tracey Matisak.
Nancy: Is there an opportunity for viewers to participate in the Q&A segment?
Shannon: Yes. Viewers can submit questions via email LiveEvents@skillsoft.com or Twitter using #SkillsoftLive. We encourage learners to submit questions early to ensure that we answer questions live.
Nancy: What is it about Live Events that draw thousands of viewers to them?
Shannon: Our Live Events offer several benefits to both learners and the broader organization. For the learner, it’s an opportunity to gain insights directly from the most recognized and sought after thought leaders on topics ranging from leadership and productivity to workplace innovation and creativity. For the broader organization, it’s a way to generate excitement and engagement around programs with some of the best minds in business, as well as an opportunity to expand and deepen participation in traditional learning programs.
For those learners that are unable to view the webcast live, we do record them for on-demand access, available for 18 months following the initial webcast.
Nancy: How many Live Events does Skillsoft produce each year?
Shannon: We aim to produce five to six Live Events per year. In 2019, we have built five Live Events to date featuring Michael Roberto, Erica Dhawan, Daniel Pink, Stew Friedman, and Cal Newport. We will wrap up our 2019 series on November 12 with Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. For 2020, we are planning six Live Events.
“For the learner, it’s an opportunity to gain insights directly from the most recognized and sought after thought leaders on topics ranging from leadership and productivity to workplace innovation and creativity. For the broader organization, it’s a way to generate excitement and engagement around programs with some of the best minds in business, as well as an opportunity to expand and deepen participation in traditional learning programs.” – Shannon Luttge, Skillsoft
Nancy: How do you identify and curate the Live Event line-up each year. What does that process involve?
Shannon: This part is by far the most exciting and the most daunting aspect of producing Live Events. We must consider diversity across all dimensions—variety of topics, thought, and speakers. I spend hours scouring industry blogs, rankings, best-sellers lists, and customer referrals, not to mention combing through the business section of my local bookstore to identify speakers and topics that I think will appeal to learners. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a book catching my eye. In fact, I make a point to browse the airport bookstores while traveling. For example, it was at an airport store that I happened upon Jonah Berger’s latest book Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, and just a few months later, we announced him as part of our roster for the following year.
Nancy: When can we expect the announcement of the 2020 Live Events roster?
Shannon: Soon, I hope! Believe it or not, I’ve been working on this roster since June. Right now, we have planned two of the six Live Events for next year. On February 25, 2020, we will feature Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, on Captivate Everyone You Meet and Never Be Forgotten, Overlooked, or Interrupted Again. Also, on May 13, 2020, we will feature social psychologist and Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University, Heidi Grant, on The Get Better Mindset.
As for the remaining four Live Events for 2020, my lips are sealed for now. You can be sure that the 2020 roster is shaping up to be a great one, and I think our learners will be thrilled with our selections.
Nancy: Do you have a favorite speaker or Live Event you’ve produced over the years?
Shannon: I am now in my 11th year working on Live Events, so it’s hard to pick just one. In fact, next week’s event will be my 75th! I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be in this role and collaborate with blue-chip thought leaders like John Maxwell, David Allen, Margaret Heffernan, Angela Duckworth, and Adam Grant.
I have fond memories of each one, but if I had to pick one, I’d say that this past April’s Live Event with Daniel Pink topped the charts for me. Dan’s keynote presentation was delivered in front of a live audience at our annual customer conference, Perspectives, as well as to our virtual audience. This setting enabled me to see first-hand the impact our Live Events have on our customers. Following Dan’s keynote on The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, where he touches on the three phases we encounter throughout our day—peak, trough, recovery—the audience was abuzz. Customers and session speakers were regularly using these terms in conversations indicating to others just where they were on the motivation spectrum. That was pretty neat to observe.
Nancy: Earlier, you mentioned that there is one remaining Live Event for 2019, featuring Daniel Coyle. What will learners gain from this event?
Shannon: Learners can expect to walk away with an understanding of just what makes the world’s successful organizations tick. They will learn about culture —and where it comes from — along with the three essential skills that generate the cohesion and cooperation teams need to excel. Daniel will discuss strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. He will also address ways to create an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded. I strongly encourage people to tune in to The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful People featuring Dan Coyle on Tuesday, November 12 at 12 pm EST.
Nancy: That answers all of my questions about Live Events. Thanks for your time today.
Shannon: Thank you, my pleasure.
Shannon Luttge is Sr. Manager of Leadership Content at Skillsoft
Nancy Santacesaria is Project & Program Manager for Leadership, Business, & Digital Transformation at Skillsoft