Last night we went to the Shakespeare Theatre Company here in DC to hear a conversation with James Earl Jones. I had forgotten, until he reminded us, that he is a stutterer. We always think of him as the voice – the voice of Mustafa, the voice of Darth Vader, the voice of CNN, and so on. But as an adolescent, he didn’t say much because he didn’t want to stutter. A high school teacher discovered that he liked poetry, and had him read his own poetry to the class. Something about the rhythm of the words kept the stutter at bay. Jones said that if there’s an underlying pattern, or truth, to what you’re saying, then it overrides the stutter – whether the pattern is vocal, or if it’s an idea. Interesting stuff! It shows that anyone who want to can be a great speaker, no matter what you’re dealt!