Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech Analysis Essay

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Speech Analysis
Marianna Henud Cresci
UBIS University




This paper responds to two questions presented by professor Philippe Laurent of
Organisational Communication course related to the weekly learning material and analyses Steve
Job’s speech at Stanford University.



1. As a listener, what are the biggest clues you have that a speaker has not taken the time to adapt the presentation so it is appropriate for a particular situation? Think of examples of speeches you have seen that did not take into account the situation (audience, speaker, and occasion). What was the impact of this negligence?

There are several questions to be asked when watching a…show more content…

- How is the speaker delivering the information to the audience and how is the audience responding? Here, we are able to see how much the speaker knows about the audience.
During a sales presentation to a group of elderly people, the presenter, unaware of the



audience, delivered the information too fast. The seniors were not able to fully comprehend what was being said, consequently not buying anything.

2. Think of presentations you have listened to in the past. What types of verbal and visual support capture your interest in a presentation? Which types bore you? Which types best help you to understand the topic? Which ones confuse you? Which types leave a lasting impact? Which do you forget most easily? How will you apply this reflection as you select verbal and visual support for your own presentations?

I always feel more interested in presentations where stories are used as verbal support. Comparisons and definitions often help me to understand the topic. Statistics are important to some types of presentations but when excessively used, I get bored. Visual aids can be a great addition to presentations, photos and graphics always make the presentation more effective. I believe that presentations that connect to the audience somehow leave a lasting impact. Therefore to create a successful presentation I must know who my audience is to be able to select the proper verbal and visual support and connect with them.
3. Speech Analysis - Steve Jobs


I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finestuniversities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I'veever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That'sit. No big deal. Just three stories.

This is the first paragraph and it underlines the general direction of the speech givenby Steve Jobs. The use of 


will show that this speech will be given from personalexperience and will contain stories that have a direct link with Steve Jobs. The verbs usedmake use of the story telling techniques: told, tell, tell. This is the first step in the analysis,seeing how this speech is constructed. Very personal and with an emphasis on the storiesrather than on advices given in a general manner. And Tropes says that there are 7 episodesand the speech involves the narrator by using throught the text the pronoun


in an abundantmanner this being a characteristic of a speech given when a life changing event has occured inthe life of the person giving the speech. The case of Steve Jobs was its diagnosis with cancerbeing the most recent event and its succes at Apple from 1976 and the stories and legendssurrounded by this company. The technical analysis underlies stative verbs close to 50% of the total ammount and only 25% of reflexive verbs. This is a characteristic of story tellingusing verbs that relate to a description and focus on creating a general image for the audience.Although the main character is Steve, the main subject is how from his actions otherscould learn and benefit. That

s way verbs like: do, make, know, look in corelation with nounslike life, coolege, work create a visual experience for the students present on that day. Interms of adjectives, Steve Jobs uses objective adjectives and we all know his great experiencein telling a story and presenting a product to the audience and making it look extraordinary,either if it

s the case or not. The same thing can be applied to his speech, a lot of adjectivesare used to create the sensation of greatness: finest, first, all of, entire, every, priceless. Inrelation to the nouns like: university, money, job, career, moment, life, minute make hisspeech be uplifting for the students in pursuing ideas that others would think crazy and createthe sense of respect for their learning environment as well the respect of their life and theirpurpose on earth.The pronouns department says that out of all of the pronouns used,


is the mostused in over 50% of the time and after that


showing that the speech has the personalaspect as well as the exemplary aspect being used to show to others the cause and effect of someones actions. For you, the students, from I, Steve Jobs, that sums is up very well.

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