May 15, 2012
Conan O’Brien gave his commencement speech at Dartmouth in 2011, congratulating the graduating class and imparting a few words of wisdom.During his speech, he appealed mostly to pathos and ethos, being as this was a commencement speech, there wasn’t very much need to appeal to logos using stats or facts. He used pathos to appeal to the graduating students by telling about his falling out with NBC and how he came back to fame with his talk show on TBS. He said “I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s okay.” When saying that, he was telling them that it’s okay to be faced with failure or a change of plans, that it’s not the end of the…show more content… After joking for a bit and really , his audience’s attention and loosening up, he went into the ending of the body of his speech and continued into the conclusion with what you would normally expect from a commencement speech; life lessons and a few personal stories. Although he did give some good advice, he said “another hallmark of great commencement speeches is deep, profound advice like ‘reach for the stars.’ Well today, I am not going to waste your time with empty clichés.” Instead of using old clichés and timeless words of advice such as “reach for the stars” he gave more practical advice, like the advice that your dreams will change some time or another, and “that’s okay.” He concluded his speech by quoting himself from his last program on NBC, by saying “Work Hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” I feel that this quote is pretty much self-explanatory, but very true.
Being true to himself, Conan used humor all throughout his speech, undoubtedly keeping the audience’s attention through the whole speech. Being a comedian and television talk show host, Conan has become well known as a comedian, so the use of humor during his speech was appropriate, and was effective in being enjoyable and keeping his audience’s attention. Through his use of humor and movement, the speech seemed less of a deep, heart-felt speech, but more of a conversational, relaxing and enjoyable speech.
He related to the graduating class by jokingly