Steve Jobs Speech Commencement Speech Analysis

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Great Storytelling Lu Jia Delivered at a campus in California to an audience of a few thousands, yet it ended up inspiring tens of millions from both U.S. and worldwide; worshiped by Silicon Valley as the ultimate career talk, it also embodied other aspects of life - college, love, loss, and ultimately death. Short but smart, targeted yet universal, poignant and timeless – thus is Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford. Some attribute its success to Jobs’ personal influence and charisma – they do add significant weight to the speech, undeniably. But close inspections from the lenses of rhetorical analysis allow us to appreciate this speech from a different perspective – in particular, how the speech was crafted as a fitting response…show more content…
Most part of his speech was delivered in a fluid, conversational tone which quickly brought him closer to his audience from the beginning - “That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories”2. And he deliberately chose words that young people would often use and could resonate with - “your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever!” However, his informal tone did not diminish the depth or the significance of his message. When conveying the meaning of his stories, Jobs switched to shorter and more rhythmic sentences, accompanied by a much more compelling tone, as if he was a father who was eager to pass on his best wisdoms to his children: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it… So keep looking until you find it. Don’t…show more content…
Eleven years after the speech, the stories he told still seem fresh, motivating and relevant, as we revisit them today. Jobs’ commencement speech has probably affected more people than he had imagined. According to author and columnist Carmine Gallo, who wrote multiple books about Apple, he once met an entrepreneur who gave up a very lucrative job to pursue his dream. When Gallo asked him where he had found the courage to quit his job, the guy pulled out a printed text of Jobs’ commencement speech and said: “This gave me the courage to follow my
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