Monday, September 14, 2009

Inspiration from Steve Jobs

Given Steve Jobs' return to work last week after a 5-month medical leave following his liver transplant, there's no better time than now to go back and listen to Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

I first heard the speech three years ago, when I had just gotten into this work. It continues to be a source of inspiration to me:

Jobs speaks powerfully about the vital importance of loving what you do.

I believe this lesson can be applied even if you are not "in love" with your work - or with your presentation topic.

In other words. even if you are given the task of delivering speak on an inherently dull, dry, loveless, or otherwise miserable subject, strive to connect it to something you care about. For some, this is an impossible task - yet even the effort of trying will make a difference.

The more you can find reasons to care about your content - and about the people who are listening to you - the stronger your presentation will be.

From the Green Room: Each time you speak, try to connect your content to something you really care about. And if you find yourself feeling utterly uninspired, watch Steve Jobs' commencement speech, again.


Stuart said...

Thanks for the post on my blog. Yes, Steve Jobs gave a fantastic speech, and I found inspiration in his words. I'm an avid Apple fan, but even if I were on the PC side of the fence, I would still have to give him 5 stars for this speech.

Erika said...

Great post, Sarah. Steve Jobs is a great example of how inspirational and effective a presenter can be.

Anonymous said...

To very loosely paraphrse Dorothy Parker, graduation speeches typically run the gamut from trite to tedious. Jobs' speech was a glorious exception. His message was so compelling and so heartfully expressed that not even the fact that he was reading & making very little eye contact with audience could detract from its impact.

Sarah Gershman said...

Thank you to each of you for your comments. I am happy that so many others find that speech so incredible.

Jake said...

I like how simple the speech was. It goes against the notion that speeches must be grand or dramatic to make a point. I bet the audience was glad. It looks like the graduates were roasting in the sun.