As Indiana’s tech community continues to grow and mature, it’s getting harder and harder to narrow down the winners for our annual Tech 25 Awards program. There is a wealth of tech talent in the Hoosier state, and they are making incredible moves. Join us in celebrating the Tech 25 class of 2021 through this profile series and learn a bit more about each winner.

Sally Perkins is a performer, trainer, and coach with a deep understanding of storytelling. She has a Ph.D. in rhetorical studies from the University of Kansas and has multiple outstanding teacher awards from California State University, Sacramento. After years of being a story performer, speaking coach, and professor, the events of 2020 inspired Sally to bring her storytelling skills to the tech world. 

Today, Sally helps clients craft and tell stories that improve leadership, build communities, increase sales, raise funds, recruit volunteers, and more. She uses her storytelling to make major strides in the healthcare industry and even takes her stories to the bedside of kids at Riley’s Hospital for Children. She currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Butler University and performs stories all around the state. Learn more about Sally below!

What led you to the tech industry and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?

My role as Insight Storyteller at Authenticx is, in fact, my first job in tech. I was compelled by Amy Brown’s brilliant idea of transforming the healthcare industry by leveraging the implicit data, feedback, and stories in call center interactions.

She was willing to take a leap of faith in hiring a storyteller to analyze, interpret, and tell the story from the data gathered through the Authenticx platform. I, in turn, get to use every part of my professional experience from academic research in communication studies, teaching in higher education, public speaking and, of course, storytelling.

When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?

A day in my life at Authenticx typically involves one of three main activities:

1) mining through our quantitative reports and qualitative analyst notes from call center interactions in search of significant patterns and stories;

2)crafting the presentations of data-based stories and audio montages that will allow our clients to hear the voices of their customers;

3) presenting those stories to clients, offering them meaningful and actionable insights from their customer interactions.

What resources would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?

The more people understand why stories matter in conjunction with (not at the expense of) data, the more effective they can be. And the more people understand what is and is NOT a story, the better. Four of my many go-to books:

I also recommend that Hoosiers connect with Storytelling Arts of Indiana, a fantastic organization dedicated to the art of storytelling in all kinds of contexts. No better way to learn than to immerse oneself in the art of oral storytelling!

Sally is a Tech 25 winner who is helping to grow and improve the tech landscape of Indiana. She was nominated by her CEO/Founder, Amy Brown.

Visit the Indianapolis Business Journal website to see the full listing and celebration of the 2021 Tech 25 honorees in the joint CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards supplement. You can also watch a video of the livestream from the CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards virtual event.

Read more coverage of the Tech 25 in this Index Feature Story and view and tag the gallery of photos from the event on Facebook.