Puffery: The fourth deadly sin of storytelling

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

We all know this unforgettable line from “The Wizard of Oz.” Oz makes himself out to be godlike. But inevitably he is exposed as the small man he really is.

We commit the sin of puffery when we issue commands or proclamations from on high, said Jonah Sachs in “Winning the Story Wars.” If we want to tell good stories, we can’t adopt a puffed-up posture. Our audience needs to be able to relate to us as people like them.