Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sleep Cycles

Since we just adjusted our clocks for Daylight Savings time, I thought this would be as good a time as any to write about how my sleep cycle affects my speech.

I've noticed that I'll stay at a consistent fluency level if I get a consistent amount of sleep. It doesn't matter how much sleep I get - 6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours - as long as I get the same amount of sleep for several days in a row then my speech is usually at a constant fluency rate, good or bad.

But if I go from sleeping 6 hours a night for two weeks, then get 10 hours of sleep, you'd think that would be a good thing, right?

Wrong. My speech will be terrible that next day. It might get better during the day, but usually it takes a few days of getting 10 hours of sleep for my brain to adjust to my circadian rhythm.

If I'm not happy with my fluency rate or my concentration, then I usually start going to bed earlier or later.

My speech also degrades as the day goes on. If I'm having a great morning, then by late afternoon I'm usually struggling. Maybe it's just a lack of concentration. Or maybe it's my body's way of saying that I need more sleep.

Does anyone else have similar experiences?

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Honda Commercial

One of my coworkers and I were going to lunch one day at a place called Walk On's in Baton Rouge, when out of nowhere appears a guy with a camera, a girl with a microphone, and another girl with a clipboard. It turns out that they were with a car dealership in Baton Rouge called Richard's Honda. They asked us if we had Hondas (which we do) and if we'd say something nice about Richard's Honda. So we did.

Here's the video. I'm the second person being interviewed, talking about how much easier it is to take the family on a trip in the van than it was to pack up our old car.

(Click here if you can't see the embedded video above.)

It was a lot of fun being interviewed. The girl who interviewed me was really great. I told her that I stuttered just so she'd know, and she told me that I could say whatever I wanted, that they'd edit out anything that I wanted them to take out or that they couldn't use, and that she wouldn't ask me leading questions if I didn't want her to. Pretty cool.

My speech wasn't perfect. I stuttered on the word "Odyssey" and a few others. I didn't really control my secondary characteristics when I did it - my eyes fluttered, etc. But I thought I did pretty well.

So thanks, Richard's Honda, for not only selling great cars, but for giving me a chance to practice my speech in public!