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Determined Demosthenes

Demosthenes, generally considered the greatest orator of the classical period, once stuttered so badly that he could scarcely speak in public. Determined to improve his skills, he forced himself to practice speaking -- with a handful of pebbles in his mouth.

[According to another story, Demosthenes shaved one side of his head so that he would not be tempted to go out and socialize (instead of practicing).]

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