Pip Decks

Man in a Hole

From Episode 6 of the weekly Storyteller Tactics episodes

Each week we release a new story and two Storyteller Tactics cards from the deck, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

👉 Read Episode 6

👉 See all episodes

👉 See previous episodes.

👉 See all episodes

What is the Man in a Hole story tactic?

This is the story of your first day at school or your first job. It's every fear you faced and every lesson you've learned.

You're doing ok, minding your own business. Suddenly, something takes you out - a pandemic strikes, you lose your job or get divorced. You pick yourself up and carry on, a little older and wiser.

Anyone can fall into a hole, but you can't fall out. You've got to climb. This is where you show your strength.

ℹ️ Remember: story is everywhere.

When you tell stories, people pay attention, and most importantly - stories are never forgotten. 

The opportunities for using Storyteller Tactics in your work are endless. From emails, pitches, job interviews, or show and tells.

There's no right or wrong way to use them. Experiment and play. You'll find what works best for you.


How to use the Man in a Hole story tactic

American novelist Kurt Vonnegut said "nobody ever lost money telling the story of a man in a hole." It has five basic beats:

  1. Comfort zone: this is not a bad place but something is missing, some potential is going to waste.
  2. Trigger: something knocks you down. Either you were unlucky or you weren't paying attention.
  3. Crisis: you're down in a hole, but in stories we find treasure in the dark. This is where you find or learn something valuable.
  4. Recovery: you put what you've learned to good use and start climbing back.
  5. Better place: you are older and wiser, you won't get knocked down so easily next time. 

Think about your own project in these terms. 

What's your version, as innovators?

What's the version you could tell about your user?

For example, can you tell a 2020 story about the pandemic, using Man in a Hole?

Man in a Hole

🤔 Confused? Enlightened?

Let us know! We are still developing Storyteller Tactics. Drop us an email with your feedback. We reply to every single one.

- Charles & Steve.

← Back to Workshop Tactics