Steve Jobs Commencement Speech Analysis

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On his commencement speech to Stanford students on June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple computers and PIXAR animations, used carefully crafted inspirational anecdotes and rhetorical devices like ethos and pathos to move his audience to explore, follow their dream and do what they love no matter the odds. Jobs’ gave his commencement address at Stanford students graduation ceremony in 2005, which had an audience size of about 23000. The audience is composed of immensely diverse groups of people including the graduating students, their families and friends, faculty, honored guests and other Stanford afflicted groups. For this analysis, however, I am going to a particular part of the audience, the graduating class, to whom I believe the…show more content…
This gave his points more credibility. Jobs’ appeal to ethos in his anecdotes is not just limited to the fact that he is a celebrity. He also chose parts of his stories not only to give lesson but also to speak for his own manner. He didn’t tell us stories about how he smartly crushed competitions or how he obtains a monopoly on the tech market. He chose stories where he is basically the “good guy”. He didn’t even talk about how he got fired from Apple in the first place. He just passes it saying, “Our vision of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out.” In addition to his status, during his stories, he successfully builds the argument that he is a “self-made man” not lucky, he was faithful, not arrogant and he is smart. These are behaviors the audience value and consider very useful. This makes the audience value him and his speech more. Jobs’ uses pathos starting from the first line of the speech. He starts by saying “I am honored to be with you today” and give the audience a sense of importance. He then says, “I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation.” This statement has two main uses in appealing to emotion. First, by using the phrase “this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation” he is relating to the audience by stating this is an important day to him as it is to them. Second, he is giving the audience a
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