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Steve Jobs Commencement Speech at Stanford University

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Steve Jobs is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of the modern technological world. In 1976, he co-founded Apple, alongside his business partner and friend, Steve Wozniak. The two young entrepreneurs went on to pioneer the development of one of the first personal computers, thus changing the world of technology at the time. Today, roughly 43 years later, Apple is the world’s largest company, mostly due to specializing in the production of the iPhone, the world’s most popular cell phone.

In 2005, at Stanford University, Steve Jobs delivered, inarguable, one of the best commencement speeches in history. unique approaches to business and marketing provoked the great public’s interest. That is why, Steve Jobs commencement speech on the importance of finding the interesting and loved job drew the attention and gained the recognition of the graduates during the Commencement Day at Stanford University in 2005.

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Throughout this speech, Steve Jobs utilizes rhetoric to convince the diverse graduate population at Stanford to pursue their passions. Jobs does this by relaying three personal stories in a way that incorporates rhetorical appeals, such as ethos, pathos, and logos. This speech is not a typical argumentative speech. In most of today’s arguments or speeches, facts are provided to support a claim that’s being created by someone; but, in Steve Jobs’ speech, he presents solely his personal opinion and a touch a small amount of history as proof. The goal of Steve Jobs’ speech is to persuade the graduates to find the jobs that they can truly love because of their passion for the definite activities. Thus, Jobs is successful in achieving his goal because of his exclusive approach to structuring the speech and to blending the rhetoric appeals in order to discuss well-known concepts and ideas of love, loss, and death in a unique form; that is why, it is appropriate to examine Jobs’ manipulation of methods of persuasion in detail.

In his speech, Jobs demonstrates the virtuous use of the rhetoric appeals in the development and presentation of one of the most persuasive commencement speeches in order to draw the students’ attention to the significant questions which can contribute to changing the person’s life.

The strategies used in developing the structure of the speech and the rhetorical strategies are closely connected. Jobs’ speech can be divided into five parts which are the introductory part to evoke the graduates’ interest regarding the topic discussed, the three life anecdotes, and the concluding part which restates and supports the author’s arguments presented in the main part of the speech.

It is important to note that each of three stories told by Jobs is also developed according to the definite structure pattern where the first sentences of the stories can be referred to the pathos, the personal experience can be discussed with references to the ethos, and the final parts of the stories are organized as the logical conclusions, using the logos. 

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