When Demosthenes, the famed Greek orator, first spoke in public, he was hissed off the platform. His voice was harsh and weak and his appearance unimpressive. He determined that his fellow citizens would yet appreciate his words, so he practiced day and night. He shaved half his head so no one would want to invite him to social events. To overcome a stammer, he recited with pebbles in his mouth and yelled against the thunders of the Aegean Sea, so his voice would get louder. He stood beneath a suspended sword to train himself not to favor a shoulder that kept hitching. He practiced facial expressions in front of a mirror. It’s not surprising that when he next appeared in public, he moved the Greek nation. He and another orator spoke on a matter of national concern. When his companion concluded his speech, the crowd said, “What marvelous oratory!” But when Demosthenes finished, they cried with one voice, “Let us go and fight…
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