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Steve Jobs’ Death Speech

Steve Jobs wasn’t always the confident showman he seemed to be on stage during his famous keynotes. On the morning of June 12, 2005, hours before Jobs was scheduled to deliver the commencement speech for the 114th graduating class at Stanford University, “He woke up with butterflies in his stomach,” says his wife, Laurene, in Becoming Steve Jobs. “I’d seldom seen him more nervous.

The speech meant a lot to Steve Jobs. He had practiced the speech endlessly, often talking out loud as he walked around the house. He gave the speech several times during family dinners, taking advantage of the captive audience. The best speeches and presentations – those that connect deeply with another person’s soul – are best written from the heart. At 22 million views on youtube, Steve Jobs Commencement Speech did connect deeply with millions of souls around the world.

The Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement address is a finely crafted speech because it’s emotional, inspiring and simply structured.

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Although it wasn’t held at a TED conference, Jobs’ speech had all the elements of an inspiring TED presentation which might explain why the video of the speech has generated 8 million views on TED.com

The Following Points Made the Speech Special;-

1). The Speech was short:-

The speech lasted for just fifteen minutes. As the TED conference has learned in its 30-year history, 15 to 18 minutes is an ideal length to deliver a substantive message without putting an audience to sleep. A lot of powerful messages have been delivered in under 18 minutes. John F Kennedy inspired a nation in 15 minutes and Martin Luther King shared a vision of social equality in 17 minutes. Sheryl Sandberg took 15 minutes to deliver a moving and powerful speech that launched the movement Lean In on a TED stage. Fifteen Minutes is enough time to spark a movement. 

2). The Speech had a theme:-

The speech resonates with about everybody who seeks meaning in their lives and their career. Do what you love. Jobs said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what to do. 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”.

3). Jobs wrapped three lessons in three stories:-

Jobs kept the crowd captivated throughout the whole speech very cleverly by dividing the three lessons that he wanted the crowd to know into three stories. He started like this:-

“Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories,”

Jobs’ first story was about connecting the dots. He talked to the graduates about dropping out of Reed College, so he could “drop-in” to the courses he wanted to take, like calligraphy, a course that had no practical application in his life. Ten years later he incorporated what he had learned into the design of the Macintosh.”It was the first computer with beautiful typography…. you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Jobs’ second story was about love and loss. He recalled falling in love with computers at an early age, meeting Steve “Woz” Wozniak, building Apple, and losing Apple after falling out with the Board Of Directors. “Getting fired was the best thing that could have happened to me… I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

Jobs’ third and final story was about death. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

He ends the speech By saying the words, “Stay Foolish. Stay Hungry.”

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