The text that was selected for the assignment is “You’ve got to find what you love” by Steve Jobs. Steven Paul Jobs, the chief executive officer (CEO), chairman, and co-founder of Apple Inc., was an American serial entrepreneur, product designer, investor, and media mogul. In addition to founding the company with Steve Wozniak, he also set up NeXT, which developed a computer platform for business owners, and university professors, and students. Later, Steve Jobs acquired a computer graphics department and transformed it into the Pixar studio, where he became the main shareholder. Based on these facts, it is possible to conclude that the hero of the essay was a talented mechanic and entrepreneur who contributed to the development of technology. Steve Jobs decided to give a speech to Stanford University graduates on June 12, 2005. As a person with no higher education, he attempted to deliver a motivational message to the younger generation, describing his life path. The text was elaborated with the help of utilizing rhetorical appeals and strategies. Therefore, a combination of the concepts of ethos, logos, and pathos determined the success of discourse and made it persuasive for the audience.
The original commencement address of Steve Jobs took place in Stanford, California, and was dedicated to the students and graduates. The text consists of three key sections: the brief introduction is included in the opening, the contribution of three stories to the main body of the work, and, finally, the conclusion. In the speech, the businessman reveals personal stories and the difficult times he had in his youth before establishing Apple, which enabled him to become an entrepreneur. He employs his experiences to build a persona that overcomes barriers and accomplishes objectives, encouraging listeners to emulate him and demonstrating that loss is unavoidable. Steve Jobs recounts three different stories throughout his fifteen-minute monologue. The first part is about his youth and how he proceeded about getting an education in an unusual method. The author tells in the piece about examining the connections in life analyzing the last moments and activities (Jobs). The second story, on the other hand, illustrates love and loss (Jobs). Love and loss reflect why he was dismissed after producing and selling the respectable Macintosh computer. Jobs’ third and last narrative deals with death and the importance of realizing its predestination (Jobs). The Apple Inc. founder was diagnosed with a serious type of cancer and subsequently informed that he was on his knees with no treatment. The text of the address largely mirrored the life of Steve Jobs, from the time when he was not yet born, while ending with the period of his maturity, experience, and achievements.
Steve Jobs was considered to be responsible for the marketing and public relations fields rather than technologies development and production processes elaboration. It was he who was originally the person that became the main speaker of Apple, its face and voice at all presentations of new devices. The entrepreneur was a compelling and exceptionally persuasive speaker who influenced the thoughts of his audience and trusted his firm (Niebuhr and Michalsky 378). The audience for the speech and its message are divided into two components: people who were directly present at the event and those who watched, heard, or read it later. According to the location of the occasion, the text of Steve Jobs was dedicated to youngsters and people of the upcoming generation that will rule the world processes in the nearest future. Moreover, concerning the fact that Stanford is believed to be one of the most valuable and prestigious universities globally, it was directed to the significantly clever and talented representatives of the youth. The target listeners were striving for victories and discoveries, but, possessing great quality education, they lacked more detailed and exact motivation. Steve Jobs became a person who was able to convey his thoughts and experience to young people in a language they understood, often using jargon and simple words (Jobs). Therefore, there appeared the situation where the necessity of the youngsters met with the ideas and the worldview of Apple’s director that he wanted to transmit. Steve Jobs is highly aware of his viewers and speaks about basic but significant topics such as parents and community, friendships and love, a career, peaks and troughs, birth and death.
Rhetoric is a form of convincing the audience, and it is one of the three elements of speech, together with grammar and reasoning. A text that is created in order to convince people of the correctness of the author’s opinion, for success, should bear three concepts in its structure: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is about acquiring power to speak on the issue, logos is the logical justification of the position, and pathos is the effort to persuade an audience emotionally. The elements that were mentioned previously are a part of the Aristotelian study that is considered to be one of the most presentive and applicable approaches (Stucki and Fritz 375). Starting with the ethos persuasion method, Steve Jobs utilizes the assertion of his identity and his authority in order to gain the trust and affection of the public. For example, he talks about getting fired from Apple was the best thing that happened to him, founding NeXT, Pixar, which is the most successful animation studio in the world (Jobs). The entrepreneur was capable of creating an atmosphere of trust according to his experience and accomplishments.
The use of logic, argument, and facts to persuade an audience is defined as logos. For instance, Steve Jobs applied the logos methodology when talking about the process of when the engineering of the first Macintosh computer was proceeding. He claims that the Mac became the first computer with beautiful typography due to the businessman taking calligraphy lessons in his youth. If he hadn’t signed up for the course, Mac would never have had multiple typefaces and proportional fonts (Jobs). Furthermore, Steve Jobs uses additional information in the form of a chronological sequence of events, precise data, and numbers in order to influence the listeners and their logical thinking. The businessman states that Apple has grown from two people in a garage to a two-billion dollars company with 4,000 employees in its first ten years of operation (Jobs). The hero of this article paid attention to facts and accurate information, which was presented as additional credibility and seriousness.
Finally, the commencement address includes evidence of pathos methodology. It was used to emotionally enhance the message and provoke the desired public reaction. According to the speech, the founder of Apple Inc. describes his biological mother, who was a young, unmarried graduate student that decided to give her son up for adoption. She insisted that Steve should be adopted only by people with higher education (Jobs). In addition, he emphasizes his poor past, where he had the dorm room absent. Steve Jobs also handed in bottles of Cola to buy food and walked 7 miles across town every Sunday to eat normally at the temple (Jobs). Furthermore, he depicts the day when he received the news concerning the oncological diagnosis in order to compose the effect of complete emotional immersion in the life of the hero. In the statement of Steve Jobs, the pathos technique plays the role of a mediator between the visitors and the history of the main character.
Despite the active use of the ethos, pathos, and logos methodology, it is possible to notice other rhetorical strategies in the commencement address. For instance, a rhetorical question, which is a question statement that does not require an answer. It is posed for dramatic impact or to convey a point rather than to elicit a response. Steve Jobs asks, “So why did I drop out of the college?” (Jobs). Additionally, lexical repetition is evident to be implemented in the text, which is the repetition of the same word or phrase in the same sense and also the use of synonyms, hypernyms, and hyponyms. For example, it becomes obvious that the combination of words “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” appears in the address three times (Jobs). Owing to this fact, Steve Jobs tried to make this phrase out of context, thereby making the emotional impact on listeners more prominent. As a proficient public speaker, the businessman practiced rhetorical strategies in his statement, which together were capable of bringing success.
To summarize, the commencement address of Steve Jobs in front of the graduates of Stanford University, California, gained substantial popularity. The audience of the speech consisted of smart and talented youngsters that were in need of life motivation. The founder of Apple Inc. was able to become the person who shared his experience and expertise, describing how complex an individual’s path is possible to be. By utilizing the methodology of ethos, pathos, and logos, Steve Jobs, an extremely talented and high-skilled orator, was able not only to attract the attention of the visitors but also to convince them of the correctness of his point of view.
Jobs, Steven. “You’ve got to find what you love.” Stanford News, 2005, Web.
Niebuhr, Oliver, and Jan Michalsky. “Computer-generated speaker charisma and its effects on human actions in a car-navigation system experiment – or how Steve Jobs’ tone of voice can take you anywhere.” Computational Science and Its Applications, vol. 2, 2019, pp. 375-390.
Stucki, Iris, and Fritz Sager. “Aristotelian framing: logos, ethos, pathos and the use of evidence in policy frames.” Policy Sciences, vol. 51, 2018, pp. 373–385.