Steve Jobs Speech Essay


Anayse the Steve Jobs Speech.



Steve Jobs the founder of Apple, Next, Pixar Animation, was acknowledged widely for transforming electronic consumer fields and personal computers world. Steve jobs perseverance has led to enormous growth and development that has an impact on every one of us. The innovations brought forth by Steve jobs has brought about significant change in the world. The innovations comprise of, Macintosh computers, iPhones, and iPods. Steve Jobs are recognized for his brilliant speaking abilities apart from being known for his significant impact in technology world. Contrasting other authors and speakers, Steve jobs incorporated a plenty of rhetorical aspects into his presentation and speech.

Steve job was invited at Stanford University to give a commencement speech to graduates of 2005.throughouth the speech; Steve Jobs uses rhetorical figures of speech that enable him to connect with the audience, through his life reflection and personal experience. He appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos of his listeners to support his argument and inspire listeners to go after their dreams. He urges his listeners to do what they love and what pleases them although, times it does not always go as planned. Various rhetorical measures have been used by Steve Jobs to create an emotional appeal in the audience during his speech at Stanford University graduation ceremony. Rhetorical figures generate an impression of a certain degree to the audience, while the context is dependent on this impression (, 2017).


Jobs establish ethos for him, he talks about his second story by explaining, he grew Apple into a two billion company from a garage with four thousand employees with his friend. Steve presents an idea of failure and success, with the aim of making the audience understand what it takes to be successful and procedures for achieving. Steve makes use of metaphor with the intention of evoking pity from the audience when he talks about being fired from Apple the company that he started. He says that, “I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down –that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about was running away from the valley,”(77,81).Steve talks about overcoming this difficulty; he says he even thought of running away but decided to stay and do what he loved doing. He talks about his perseverance and starting again rather than quitting. Steve started two new big companies NeXT and Pixar, after several years he was back to his position of chief executive officer at Apple. He inspires the audience by saying, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do” (102,103).

He developed ethos when he explains the hardship he faced during his sickness. Steve brings the idea through explaining to the graduates, that they should try to live their own lives, rather than those of others since life is too short. And they should make the most out of it. Steve explained to the graduates that even though the doctors had warned him that he had three to six months to live; he was able to extend his life through conquering challenges that attacked him.


At the start of his speech, he begins by complementing the listeners: “I am honored to be with you at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college”(6,7). Admitting the he never graduated from university shows humility and makes the audience have a great feeling about them. These are strong opening remarks by Steve jobs increased the receptivity of the message he has for the audience by the audience. In the beginning comments, he makes it clear to the audience what his message is all about. He lays the groundwork for his message by saying that he has three important words for his audience. Strong opening during a speech increases the connectivity of the audience to the speaker by making them more comfortable. Steve establishes pathos in the speech h through showing humility and making the listeners feel accomplished. Creating of pathos helps the speaker and audience feel comfortable during the speech as it releases the tension between them.

After the effective, although brief introduction, Steve discusses the three stories of his life that all the audience can relate. Steve establishes a simple structure that during his speech. He is very concise of sentence structure. The structure of his statement is based on three main points. Steve begins the first part of his remarks based on his background story through stating that, “my biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adopting option”( 14,15).He discussed about how he grew up and how he dropped out of college after six months of admission. However he introduces the twist that is very surprising to his dropout, he said that dropping out was the best thing that ever happened to him. He employs the use an antithesis: is a figure of speech using juxtaposition of contrasting word, often in parallel structure (Elevanto, 2017).He says, “if I had never dropped out, I would never drop in.’’(jobs).according to jobs dropping out allowed him to do what he loved the most. He stopped taking classes that did not interest him and focused on those that looked interesting to him. Through taking classes that interested him made jobs discovered his love for Calligraphy, which eventually becomes the source of his income ten years later when he designed first Macintosh computer. Jobs then share his humor with the audience through showing what the benefit of taking the risky step of the unknown can lead.

Through sharing of his background story to the Steve appeals to pathos, through the use of emotional story which the listener can relate to. Steve made it clear to the students that as long s they pursue their dreams they will achieve it and become successful. He made it clear that the background does not define your future but the path that they decide to take is what will define their future.Steve final story on his medical condition, generate feelings of sympathy in the audience through use of simple statements. Which create emotional and personal connections. Steve uses pathos when he says, “About year ago I was diagnosed with cancer”(121). Jobs appeals to both pathos and logos while sharing his death view with the aim of providing proof to his claim. He says “remembering that I will be dead soon, is the most important thing I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure-these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going you are going to die the best way I know to void the trap of thinking you have something to lose .you are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”(114,120).Steve simplifies the idea of death and life in a more skillfully way to his audience. He proves to the audience that life should not be spent wastefully or living other people lives since its short. Life should be spent doing what one love.


A sense of logo is shown in the speech when Jobs state that “it wasn’t all romantic. I did not have a room, so I slept on the floor in friends rooms, I returned coke bottle for the 5c deposit to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a weak at the Hare Krishna temple”(35,38).By sharing this, jobs makes it clear to the student that the path of achieving dreams is full of stumbling blocks and hardship as well as a lot of sacrifices that one has to make. To achieve the set dream is not a walk in the park. Steve tries to show his audience that if he could overcome the hardship, then the graduates can overcome s well.Jobs uses antithesis to end his first main point by saying, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward,”(60,61)

The rhetoric techniques of antithesis, transition Steve into his second main point of his story .Steve tell the audience that, “so you have to trust the dots will somehow connect in your future .You have to trust in something; your guts, destiny life, and karma. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life,’’ (61,63).

Rhetorical devices.

Steve strengthens the rhetorical aspect of his speech through the use of repetition. This is illustrated when job says “Don’t settle.” “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle,”(104).” as with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle” (104,106).Use of metaphors allows jobs to put more emphasis on his ideas and engage the audience further. “As the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it”. “Don’t settle” (106).Use of metaphors allows jobs to put more emphasis on his ideas and engage the audience further.

Through the use of rhetorical devices such as antithesis, personification, metaphors, and anaphora, jobs show his audience how he spent his life. This is more clearly when he talks about founding Pixar and founding next, and even in meeting his wife, Laureen. He says, “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I had not been fired from Apple. It awful tasted medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith,”(96,98).utilization of anaphora figure of speech is seen when jobs repeat a phrase at the beginning of clause. When he says “remembering that I will be dead soon, is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because of almost everything –all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important”(114,120).The use of anaphora is seen when jobs repeat the word “All” at the start of the three clauses.


At the end of his speech, jobs repeat the phrase “stay hungry. Stay foolish” through this statement; Job urges the students to be eager to learn new things and be willing to try new things. He also encourages the students to continue pushing themselves towards achieving of their goals.

Steve jobs simple way of delivering his speech to the audience, during the graduation commencement, has created a logo for him as a trustworthy yet straightforward person. Through sharing his experience in career path, he has made it clear to the students that where you are at the moment does not matter, what matter is what one does to change the current situation at hand. Through sharing of his experience of success and failures, he has made it clear to the graduates that, to achieve one's dreams, there are stumbling block that might cause you to fall, all that matter is what one decides to do after drop is what matters. Throughout his speech he has been able to make the audience go through, and various emotions. He has been able to make his audience relate to his belief thus creating pathos. Steve urges graduates to find what they love in life and go after their passion. They will live a Successful life if they follow their heart and intuition.


Report, S 2005, 'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says, <

Elevanto. (2017). Speech Analysis: Steve Jobs at Stanford University - Elevanto. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2017]. (2017). Steve Jobs – Use of Figures of Speech in the iPhone Presentation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2017].

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