Some of the ideas presented by Steve Jobs during his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 that I find exciting include his decision to drop out of school because he had not established what he wanted to do with his life so as to save his parent’s money and the resolve to follow his heart and intuition. His decision was quite considerate because the money which was supposed to educate him was a life-long saving from his parents; thus, studying a course that he was not passionate about meant that the money was likely to go into waste. Following one’s heart and intuition means that people can easily find a meaning in their lives by doing what they are passionate about and having a strong belief that things will work.
Steve Jobs applies the ethos persuasive method throughout his speech to make it interesting by eliciting emotions among the audience. For instance, he explains how he used to return coke bottles to get the deposit for use in purchasing his meals as well as sleeping on the floor of his friends’ dorms to show the challenges he went through after dropping out of school. This provokes empathy from his listeners who pity him for what he had to go through in his pursuit to succeed in life. He also appeals to emotion by explaining how he was diagnosed with deadly cancer but still managed to face life with confidence. The claim that he was advised by the doctor to ensure that everything at home was fine is quite touching because it is a clear indication that there was no chance of him surviving, but he still remained strong enough to pursue his dream in life.
The use of logos is also evident in Jobs’ speech. A good example is through his story of connecting the dots where he explains why dropping out of school and dropping in a calligraphy class was the best thing that happened in his life. He appeals to logic by showing how the skills acquired from the calligraphy class were vital in designing the typography of modern computers and how things would be different if he had not quit his course.
Steve Jobs’ speech is highly inspiring. His undying resolve and determination to excel despite the numerous challenges he faces since childhood, having been adopted only to realize later in life, dropping out of school, and being fired from Apple, a company he had founded implies that one should never lose hope in life.
I would rate Jobs’ speech as excellent due to its enriching content and style. For instance, the speech is brief and educative as Steve uses specific situations in his life to show how sustaining hope can bring success in the face of adversity. His choice of words is precise to ensure that his message is understood. Moreover, being brief ensures that the students do not get bored as people mostly concentrate when they are not tired.
Overall, Jobs’ message in his commencement speech is of high quality as he motivates his audience who are graduating students to find purpose in their lives and ensure that they do things that they love to optimize their outcome. To inspire the audience, Jobs says that he draws motivation from living each day as though he would never have another. He further argues that “Remembering that I will be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” Moreover, the speech urges people to make the best out of their worst situations by narrating how he established a new company that ended up playing a significant role in Apple’s resurgence despite having lost his position in the firm had co-founded.
- Stanford (2008). Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement address. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc