Effective PhD Dissertation Defense Tips: 10 Expert Suggestions

Defending your PhD dissertation in front of a committee may be a grueling task to some people. However, here are 10 expert suggestions that students can use effectively during the defense.

Plan your talk

Know your audience

The first step is to know the audience. Presenting to high school students and a group of professors will require different approaches. Know your audience so that you can effectively plan your opening statements.

Justifying yourself

After the introductions, explain to them why you chose to do that research. This calls for more than literature review. One has to have a clear understanding of the topic being defended. Do not settle for inconclusive statements.

Story telling

The lack of transition during narration results in a bad presentation. The slides should be organized in a logical manner. The flow of the presentations should be logical and easy to follow from the introduction to conclusion.

Sweating the small stuff

Most students are usually y tempted to leave out little details during the presentation. Leaving out important details such as labeling of axes and proper labeling of diagrams may anger your audience.

Slide show presentation

The slides used during the presentation should clearly explain your work. Carefully explain what the x and y values in the graph represent. For research presentations that have experiments, clearly indicate how data was collected, tested and analyzed. This will help build a transition.

Giving the presentation

Practice

Practice, practice makes perfect. Before presenting to the real audience, try presenting to a pilot group. This will boost your confidence greatly on the material day. It will also help you make any corrections to errors you had not previously noticed.

Avoid last minute rush

Go through your work way days before the presentation. Seek the opinion of friends or tutors. This will give you enough time to prepare.

Master your content

Take time to read through your work and internalize it. Do not cram. Internalizing will help you answer questions and show the relationship among the various variables involved in the study.

Show confidence

During the presentation, show some confidence. Stand straight and maintain good body language. Avoid displaying a cocky mood. Do not make it easier for them to harass you by being nervous.

Show humility

After presentation, criticism will be thrown left, right and centre. Some aspects of your research may be modified. Take criticism with a lot of positivity. Where you are not sure, admit it instead of guessing.

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