Tips for creating the best presentation

Steve Jobs Inspirational Speech at Stanford University

Steve Jobs delivered one of inspirational speech in 2005 at Stanford University. The speech shows us how to prepare good materials in order to give a good presentation or formal speech using simple language.

Please watch the following video before reading the analysis further:

The Opening


Rules of Three

One of the speech’s techniques, which could make the audience focus, is to divide the speech into 3 parts. Steve Jobs frankly opened his speech by saying, “Today I want to tell you three stories of my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories”

The opening was clear and short which brings the audience to prepare themselves to hear the next three parts of Steve Jobs’ speech.


The Story

Steve Jobs told a story from his personal life in his speech. Telling a story would help the speaker to connect with the audience. We all know that everyone loves listening to stories. It will certainly catch the attention of the audience even the inattentive one.


The Content of the Speech:


The First Story: Connecting the Dots

Steve started his story by telling how he was born and adopted by a modest family. However, his adopted parents were not college graduates but they had promised to send Steve to college. Steve then continued his story when he went to Reed College and learnt calligraphy and the using of font. At that time there was no direct connection between what he was doing with his work in the future.

“You have got to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart. Even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.”



The Second Story: Love and Loss

Steve was telling how he built Apple with his best friend from his house garage until it became big and worth millions of dollars. As the company grew bigger, Apple hired somebody who was considered the right person to lead the company. It was fine at the beginning but along the way they had different views and visions on the company’s future. The board of directors took the president (CEO) of the company’s side and fired Steve. How could you be fired from the company you had built by yourself?

This was the biggest loss of Steve Jobs. Something that he had truly built with passion had gone. But one thing that has never disappeared was that he always loved what he was doing. Steve started again from the beginning. He built NeXT then Pixar, which became the biggest animation studio in the world with its phenomenal movie “Toy Story” at that time. Eventually, NeXT was bought by Apple and Steve came back to the company he had once built and saved Apple from falling.

This would not have happened if he was not fired from Apple in the first place. Those periods were the most creative time in his life. Sometime life is so bitter like medicine, but it is necessary to cure a patient.

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only things that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

“And the only way to do great work is to love what you 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.”


The Third Story: Death

Steve also described how he had to face death when he was told that he had cancer in the pancreas which was incurable. With this illness, Steve always tried to spend his life every day by doing the best thing he could.

Every time he went to work, he would ask himself, “If this was my last day, would I want to do the thing that I am going to do today?”

Death helps remind us to always make a big choice in life.

“There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”



Steve closed his speech by telling the story when he was young, he and his friends had picked a quotation from a magazine, which he said it to all the fresh Stanford graduates, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”.

This is “Call to Action” or a calling that Steve Jobs wished to be remembered by the audience as he ended his speech.

Stay hungry and foolish, so that you will keep on learning and searching for something bigger and useful for your life.



This speech is one of the best speeches quoted by many people. Steve Jobs’s messages have touched many people’s hearts, mostly the young generations to always follow their hearts, never give-up, and always do the best wholeheartedly.

Brilliantly, Steve Jobs has used stories and divided it into three parts. This way the audience would understand easily and remember the message. Giving speech by telling stories would sound more interesting and more personal.

As a conclusion, make your speech short and use simple words in order to be remembered easily as a call to action that would be kept in mind by all the audience.


Translated by: Dewi Suryodipuro

Exit mobile version