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Travis Dahle
Sioux Falls, SD
Husband, Father, Coach, Teacher, Musician, Golfer - all at once!
Interests: branding, communication, public speaking, political communication, PowerPoint Design
Recent Activity
I know it's been sometime since I've posted here (is a 3 year hiatus a bad thing...) but I've been wanting to get back into writing more consistently, so why not talk about beer. And not just any beer, but America! In case you haven't heard, this summer, Budweiser is changing it's name to America until the end of the election in November. No I'm not kidding. This is a real thing that is happening. Why would one of the most ubiquitous names in American beers need to change its name? When it comes to marketing, if you have a strong brand identity, you don't usually change your name. However, Budweiser apparently felt differently. Apparently they made the switch "to inspire drinkers to celebrate America and Budweiser's shared values of freedom and authenticity." Seems like an interesting idea. I have a better theory though. I'm pretty sure that Americans are being mocked a bit and we don't even know it. Perhaps its slipped your mind, but the most American beer out there (which if you asked most people, which beer would you identify America with, Budweiser would be in their top 3 picks with 80% placing it first) is actually... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2016 at Dahle Communication
Over the years we've seen dramatic changes in how we communicate with each other. We've gone from face to face conversations just 20 years ago (even 15 or 10) to texts, tweets and facebook posts. While these tools have given us a great ability to reach more people and do it more effectively it makes me wonder if we've truly lost the ability to talk to one another. The perfect example of this is the current situation in Washington D.C. Both sides seem to be set in their positions and are refusing to even compromise. I understand the argument on both sides, but from my perspective as an outsider, it just looks like they can't communicate with each other. During the shutdown in the 1990's, Bill Clinton and then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrinch actually talked almost every day. They enjoyed discussing policy and wanted to try and figure out how to resolve the issue. Sadly, it doesn't look like either side even wants to talk to each other. Is this a problem with our society and how interpersonal connections seem to be lost because we're so used to looking at a screen and just typing out what we... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Dahle Communication
Travis Dahle has shared their blog Dahle Communication
Jul 19, 2013
If you have read my blog at all, you know that I am a big fan of John F. Kennedy's speech writer Ted Sorensen. I always felt that his writing paired with Kennedy's speaking ability is the greatest we have seen. However, while reading up on some memories of the late Senator George McGovern, I (and apparently most of the known universe) have missed out on a great speech - McGovern's 1972 acceptance speech. The reason a lot of people missed it is that it was given at 2:00 a.m. after a contentious convention. Unfortunately for McGovern, most people didn't see the speech or hear it. What I find interesting is how much more powerful those words are today, and how they can still be used today. Take this passage: Let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary Americans who will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a Million Member Club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all. Isn't that something that can be said today? However, I think his closing paragraph is the most powerful and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at Dahle Communication
Being from South Dakota, a state of only about 800,000 people, we have had our share of nationally prominent people. One of the greatest of those passed away this weekend, former Senator George McGovern. Most people know McGovern as the candidate who was defeated easily by Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. However, he was much more than this. I had the honor of meeting Senator McGovern three times in my life. The first time I met him was at a high school debate tournament in Mitchell, SD that is named in his honor - the Mitchell McGovern. At the tournament, McGovern spoke briefly to the students about the importance of debate and the impact that it had on his life. Most recently, I got a chance to speak with him briefly at his 90th birthday party in Sioux Falls and he once again talked to me about how valuable his experience in debate was and how it impacted him. I always felt honored to be advocating something that such a great man valued and clearly took to heart. Senator McGovern was much more than a politician; he was a statesman. He was a soft spoken man who stood up... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2012 at Dahle Communication
3 years ago I decided to start sharing my thoughts and ideas on communication - both in how people need to become better speakers, how people in the public eye use communication and how we all use communication. It's been a lot of fun and hopefully 3 years from now I'll have another 150 plus posts! I just wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and for taking the time to read my random thoughts that I have from time to time. There will be more to come for sure. Travis Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2012 at Dahle Communication
Ever had that one idea. It's a great idea. Almost epic! Of course, the next morning you wake up and think - wow, that was a really, really bad idea - next time, probably not going to challenge the bikers at the biker bar to a fight. This is probably what Ron Paul is thinking this morning after the following was posted on his twitter account: @JonHuntsman we found your one Iowa voter, he's in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks Now, I think that is funny - for someone probably not running for President. This tweet is an example of what probably seems like a good idea at the time, but when looking back at it, probably isn't going to look as good the next day. This is a problem with Twitter in that you can post your thoughts instantly without thinking about it. As I've noted before, that can be a problem. Communication is vitally important to a political campaign. Will this derail the Paul campaign? Who knows. What we can all learn though is, we have to be careful when we use Twitter - especially if we are running for President! Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2012 at Dahle Communication
Maybe its because I'm the only guy in a house with 3 other women or I'm just secure enough of a man, but I just don't get the whole "manly" advertising of some companies. The latest attempt at advertising directly to men is Dr. Pepper Ten. When I first saw this commercial it just made me laugh. The overt machoism and sexism is way over the top. Which I guess is what Dr. Pepper is going for. But what are they really communicating with this ad? First off, they are saying that most men are so insecure about being a man that they can't drink diet pop because its too feminine. Which is exactly what their research told them. Really guys. Look, I don't drink diet pop, not because I'm afraid to, but I just can't stand the taste of it. Not sure why guys would be afraid to drink diet pop if they were okay with the taste, but insecurities are a good way to market products - at least that is what Dr. Pepper thinks. Secondly, Dr. Pepper is communicating that they really don't mind about being sexist, at least when it comes to this product. Interestingly, they... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at Dahle Communication
One thing I like about co-working with everyone at Meso is the relaxed, yet get your work done, atmosphere. What I have learned over the past couple of months is that it has the relaxed feel of a coffee shop, but the people here all have things to do and are not here just to get coffee and chat. Its the perfect mix of coming to work, yet being able to banter from time to time. Part of that relaxed atmosphere is the music we decided to play. Its not the typical 92.5 music (Sioux Falls people will know, for those of you not in Sioux Falls, think light pop music from the 80's, 90's and today - we all have them). I've created a station of mostly alt-country acts on Slacker Radio including Wilco, The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams that we listen to sometimes. Overall, its a different mix of music that adds to the atmoshpere. This morning however, my ears heard something that I didn't expect to hear for at least another 10 days - Christmas Music! Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas music, especially the songs done by greats like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra!... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2011 at Dahle Communication
Being a Denver Broncos fan means that I've seen a lot in my life. I was 6 years old when they drafted John Elway and watch him lead the Broncos to five Super Bowls, winning his last two. Since that time, the Broncos have been good, then bad, then horribly bad - but I have never seen anything quite like the Tim Tebow phenomenon. While there have been multiple posts, articles, interviews and commentaries about Tim Tebow and if he will or won't be an effective NFL Quarterback, I wanted to look at something different. Why is Tim Tebow so popular? He was a tremendous college quarterback and is a phenomenal role model. But we've had those people in sports before. Why is it that for a long time, Tebow led the NFL in jersey sales, yet was not a starting Quarterback? There are two things at work here (at least in my mind): 1. His religious openness. This is something that I think has garnered Tebow a lot of admiration, and a lot of consternation. There is a saying that there are two things that you never bring up in polite conversation: Religion and politics. However, Tim Tebow has... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2011 at Dahle Communication
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I'm working out of Meso now and our local TV station did a "Eye on Keloland" segement that recorded me for parts of it. When I watch it, I'm reminded of the Toy Story 2 line by Buzz Lightyear "Am I really that fat?" Check it out: Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2011 at Dahle Communication
Like most Americans, I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and the rest of the day on 9-11-01. This year we observe the 10th anniversary of that tragic day when thousands of Americans lost their lives. I first wanted to recognize those who lost their lives that day and those since figting in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Now, this is a communication blog, so what does this have to do with communication? Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2011 at Dahle Communication
Sioux Falls, South Dakota is still a fairly small town. The population is about 156,000 with the surrounding metro area of about 235,000. While this is easily the largest city in South Dakota (with a population of around 800,000) it is still small compared to a lot of other cities. There are clearly advantages to Sioux Falls still being a small town. The drive to work is usually quite short, there is not a lot of traffic, crime is very low and our educational system is top notch. However, one of the down sides is that it takes a while for things to catch on here. One of those is co-working spaces. As wikipedia tells us, "Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization." The most known (at least to me) is Regus. Regus offers themselves as the largest network of offices for people to work out of - and they advertise a lot on ESPN Radio, which is why I know them. Citizen Space is another co-working space that is growing and expanding... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2011 at Dahle Communication
One of the greatest things about being a debate coach is that I have to learn a great deal about a new topic each and every year. This year I get to learn about Space! It's like I'm a kid again. Space is amazing and I've forgotten how inspiring it is and how it can trigger our imagination. For an example, I have embedded an info-graphic about the International Space Station that I wanted to share with you. I don't think most people know how big and complex the Space Station is. If you have kids, get them involved in competitive debate - they will learn more about a topic than they will in any other class! If your school doesn't have competitive debate, work on them to add it! If you ever want any help, please let me know and I will get you the information you need! Enjoy the info on the International Space Station. Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2011 at Dahle Communication
It's that time of year again - millions of students are either starting or getting ready to start the school year, which is why this post is going to be more about education than communication. Here in Sioux Falls, students begin today and will finish around mid-May with their year. Some things have changed quite a bit: pretty much everyone has a cell phone, there are computers everywhere and the access to the internet has changed the way in which kids read, write and do research. Other things are still the same: students go all day to set class times, most have textbooks for each class and teachers still make bad presentations using an outdated version of PowerPoint (Sioux Falls currently uses 2003). Being an educator, I strongly believe in the power of education. Education can take someone who comes from a disadvantaged background and it can propel them to greatness. I've seen kids go from being shy and unsure of themselves academically to being some of the best students I've ever had. However, being the realist that I am, I also see the problems with education. The drive to the middle that leaves the best and brightest bored and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Dahle Communication
After a hiatus worthy of Brett Duncan (maybe), I'm going to be back posting here once again. While the summer was great and I'm glad I took a break, there is going to be a lot going on in the world of communication that I want to talk about once more. So, get ready! Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Dahle Communication
This is one of the most touching and inspiring speeches that I hear every year. Jimmy Valvano was a college basketball coach and in 1993 created The V Foundation, which funds cancer research. A few weeks after giving this speech he died from his battle with cancer. Each year, ESPNRadio does a huge fund drive where 100% of the donations raised goes to cancer research. You can bid on a variety of prizes and events or just donate money. Just this morning, you could bid to play a round of golf with Herm Edwards or pick your choice of what College Football game you wanted to go to with the College Gameday group and hang out with them all day. Beyond the amazing fund drive that happens each year, the speech by Jimmy V is by far the most powerful. Everytime I hear it I get a bit emotional having someone close to me die from cancer. As a speech, he makes you laugh, he makes you cry, but mostly, he makes you want to do something. That is the power of speech - it can get an emotional response and get a call to action. Take some time today... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2011 at Dahle Communication
A couple of weeks ago I was included in the Kjell Kallman Daily and thought the idea behind it was fantastic. Here was a way for me to put together a daily on-line newspaper that I could somewhat control the content, but didn't have to spend hours on as well. Since then, I set up the "Communication Daily." is fairly new and more people are starting to use it, but I find it very useful for a few reasons. First, it allows me to find articles that people have posted throughout the day that I might have missed. I am not in front of my computer that much anymore and when I am, I have work to do. This means that I will usually miss some great posts by people during the day unless I'm lucky enough to catch it for the 5 or 10 minutes that I'm on. So on a personal/selfish level its nice because I can follow people on twitter and check out their posts without having to be tied to my computer all day. Secondly I love the layout. It looks more professional than a lot of on-line newspapers (at least the small-town ones that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2011 at Dahle Communication
When communicating, even if you use the correct words, how they are interpreted can change their meaning. That is one thing that I have found with the English language. Foxtrot has a great example of this which I thought was great. Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2011 at Dahle Communication
I've spoken a couple of times about the importance of using Twitter correctly over the past couple of years and while some people have not learned that lesson, others are starting to. Yesterday I swung by a Casey's General Store gas station to get a bottle of coke and there in the cooler were glass bottles of coke with actual sugar in them (instead of the usual corn syrup that is used today in place of actual sugar). So when I tweeted that I found my new favorite gas station, mentioned the coke and included a picture of the Coke bottle I didn't expect anything to happen except for some of my friends to maybe make a comment. What I was surprised by was what happened next. First, Casey's replied to me and said "Thanks Travis!" I thought that was cool. Just a simple, thank you. It didn't surprise me that much, but it was still neat to see someone was at least using twitter to be an interactive voice for a gas station. What happened then just made me chuckle and I thought was great on their part. The Gas Stop decided to join in on the discussion by... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2011 at Dahle Communication
I plan on talking about this more later, but I wanted to post this now because it is a historic speech and a historic moment in the recent U.S. History. What did you think of his speech? Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2011 at Dahle Communication
I've always preached the idea that communication is first and foremost something that everyone needs to do well if they want to succeed. It doesn't matter what business you are involved in or what you are planning on doing for a living, if you can communicate well, you will be successful. Inc. Magazine has an interview with Peter Guber who has a new book out titled "Tell to Win". Here is a snippet from that interview: OK, so how can someone in sales or marketing turn a garden-variety pitch into a purposeful story? It's so simple, it's embarrassing, and yet a lot of people overlook the basics. First, when you walk into a room to sell a product or pitch an investor or whatever, you absolutely have to know what your intention is. What do you want from your listeners? You have to understand your objective and be transparent about it in order to establish trust. Second, you have to figure out a way to capture your listeners' attention. It can be a physical movement or asking someone about the pictures on his desk in a way that builds mutuality. Finally, the goal of your story must be to show... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Dahle Communication
If you are not a part of the debate world, it can be a bit confusing. Because of some of this misconception, I decided to give an ignite speech about debate that will hopefully clear up some of those ideas. While it is only 5 minutes long, you can still learn a lot from it (I hope). If you want to learn more, go to the National Forensics League website. Travis Dahle at Global Ignite Week #4 from Ignite SD on Vimeo. Thanks for watching. -Travis Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at Dahle Communication
Over the past couple of months, I have been crazy busy! Working on research projects, helping create speeches/presentations and working with the Washington High School debate teams has pretty much filled up my days. Because of this, my blog here has taken the brunt of the hit because I have not updated it since Feb. 9th! What I've come to realize is that I have to set aside some time each week to put my thoughts on communication down on this website. I find it very valuable and I hope you find the information that I share valuable as well. So, from now on I am setting aside at least an hour each week to make sure I post here. This is something that you can use to become a better speaker. A lot of us realize the importance of being a better speaker, but we don't take the time to actually work on it! Take some time each week to practice your speeches or speaking style. You can break it up however you want. For example, one week work on your gestures, the next, enunciation, and so on and so forth. Setting aside time is important. It ensures that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2011 at Dahle Communication
The following is a guest post by Brett Duncan of Marketing In Progress. I love Brett's stuff and he has been gracious enough to do a guest post here. I must be getting old, because I find myself looking back on the “good ol’ days” at a much higher frequency than ever before. And I’m about to spring it on the ads for this year’s Super Bowl. Much like the NBA dunk contest, I think it’s time to face a simple fact: Super Bowl ads had a nice run, but their time has gone. Today, things are different. These ads just ain’t what they used to be. Or maybe we just aren’t who we used to be. Regardless, I was simply disappointed in this year’s ads. Yeah, there were a couple of nice spots, but overall, I was left wanting more. And not in a good way. Not in the way the last episode of The Sopranos left us wanting more. With that said, here are some simple observations from this year’s Super Bowl ad lineup, along with my favorite commercials from the pack. In all honesty, I haven’t read a single post on the ads; I wanted to give... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at Dahle Communication