Dissertation Defense: 5 Hints To Help You Get Ready
After months and months of writing your thesis, the moment has come to present your work in front of family, friends and, most important, your mentor. If the fear of public speaking is not intimidating enough, there is also the concern of scoring a good grade. There are some simple tricks, how to prepare for the big day and give an excellent dissertation defense that will wow your professors.
Prepare well – practice, practice and practice
You might think that you can quote any part of your dissertation in the middle of the night, but if you’ve never rehearsed it, there is bound to be trouble. You will learn that even if you know by hart the whole thesis, once you start presenting it – it will be a different story. So try to practice your speech in front of a mirror. After a few rehearsals alone, you can invite someone over to be your audience. Ask someone that is close to you, so you will feel more comfortable.
Make a good presentation
If you make a really good presentation of your thesis, that can help you out in a moment when you blank out or forget what you should talk about next. You can also print out some pointers, and hold them in front of you while you are giving your presentation. You should speak effortlessly, and even when you make a mistake, you have to be able to bounce back fast.
Have a good structure
You will make your life easier if you make a structure of your speech, and neatly divide it into key points or keywords. This way you will always think about the big picture, and you will always know what to say next.
Get plenty of sleep and eat well
You should forget partying and sleepless nights if you want to nail your defense speech. Concentration is the only thing you will truly need, and strength to endure a long presentation and then an even longer Q and A.
You are the master, they are your students
You have spent months on writing your thesis, read numerous books and studied all the relevant articles that exist on this subject. You should not underestimate the hard work you have put into the pages of your dissertation, you earned to call yourself the expert in that field. If you defend your thesis with the fear that someone might ask you something you don’t know well, you will get nervous and forget even the things you know. If you start with the idea that you are the master of that topic and that you have to educate your audience, you will have a confident attitude that will translate to your professors and they will appreciate that.