This post is about how Gary Vaynerchuk answered the question.
I’m curious to know, what makes a good storyteller?
This is from the GaryVee Audio Experience, September 3, 2017 A Business Meeting with VaynerProductions | Expanding What Vaynermedia is Built On. It starts at 8:56 into the meeting.
What I think is really interesting here is both the answer, but also the context. The meeting he is having is with a group from his own company that is built on being digital storytellers. And specifically, it’s VaynerProductions, a division that produces the creative. Their roles are firmly in the storytelling space.
And yet, even storytellers need to be reminded how to tell a good story.
This weekend I met with a lot of small business owners. They were professionals in their space and running their businesses well. And most of them were thinking about this as well. They used different language, but they knew they needed to tell their story. They wanted to be better at communicating with their audience and potential audience.
I’ve transcribed/edited/paraphrased the audio slightly for clarity. So here is Gary’s answer to the question: What makes a good storyteller?
The person who has the least ego. That’s genuinely my belief. The person who actually cares about the person on the other side of it way more than they care about themselves. And we have a whole industry of people who care about themselves. It’s why I’m good at what I do for a living. It doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what the other person thinks. That trumps anything that I think. And then all my behavior and work goes into trying to figure that out. Humility makes a good storyteller.
… but now, people who are great storytellers, who do have empathy for their audience and do understand their space – they make it, they put it out, and they have leverage. And you don’t get to judge if it’s good content. The market does.
That’s what I think makes a good storyteller. Someone who’s got a pulse of culture, and then deploys the audience’s point of view, not theirs.
Everything I think about, I take my eyes out and put my audience’s eyes in. That’s why I read all my comments. That’s why I only have time for that. Because that allows me to get the qualitative feedback to understand where I need to take things.