How To Organize Your Dissertation Oral Defense Presentation


One of the most challenging yet compulsory stages on the journey of being conferred with matters of PhD is defending a dissertation. The writing of thesis is also challenging in its own ways. The procedure of defending thesis may vary from one college ton the others but in general, you will be expected to announce appointment for thesis defence in the graduate department of your college. You should ensure that thesis paper is almost complete by the time you prepare to present your defence.

Some colleges may even require that you should be done with your paper before you are called to defend it. During the defence of your thesis, you are expected to present the paper and defend it in front of your supervisor. Also present may be faculty thesis committee and other members, which may include fellow students. You may be asked various questions after the presentation, and thus you should read widely and be armed with the requisite knowledge and skills expected of you.

Rehearsal for thesis defense:

You must prepare thoroughly if you want to perform well in defending your dissertation by doing the following:-

  1. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with the requirements and guidelines put in place by your department.
  2. Also, speak with your supervisor and know what exactly is required of you.
  3. Ensure that each member of this committee has a copy of the dissertation some several weeks before the day of defense.
  4. The defense should ordinarily include abstract and short summary. Ensure that you will the forms on time, and include all the signatures required.
  5. Also, ensure that you talk to persons who have defended their thesis or dissertations in the past. This will help you gain confidence and learn more about what is expected of you during the defense and oral presentation.
  6. Also, ensure that you attend oral defenses by others and see how they are dressed, how they present, the questions they are asked, and take note of the general conduct of affairs in the whole process.

Before the actual presentation and defense of your dissertation, ensure that you practice as many times as possible. You can even present the paper before a mock committee of your fellow students. Identify any weakness, inconclusive research, and take note of the strong and weak arguments in the paper. The mock panel you present to may ask question that you will be asked during the actual presentation.

Before actual presentation, you can also sit down with the supervisor for strategy and fact finding mission. Take advantage of this meeting and organize your defense in the best way possible.

During actual presentation:

Be composed and present your paper well, highlighting the major or strong points. Listen carefully to the physical, audio and body language of the panel. Remember to say thank you at the end of the presentation. Ensure that you dress formally for the event.

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