Tips on facing dissertation defense session

Posted in: Dissertation | By:   | On: September 6, 2013 | No Comments

The best and the easiest way to approach a dissertation defense session is to calm your nerves and approach it with utter confidence. Always remember that you are an expert. Approach the defense as a normal presentation. It is important to relax, think and prepare well for your presentation.

Knowing yourself is the best way to compose yourself, and focus better on your work. Focus on socializing and think more about post defense celebration to get over the anxiety provoking situation. Also, stay informed that your committee members will definitely help you to predict the defense session’s results in advance. Meeting with them before the presentation is ideal for gathering feedback which would turn out to be extremely helpful for facing the professors successfully.

One should also refer to the colleagues for any danger zones or beware areas concerning the committee members. Never assume that the professors will not go through the dissertation report, they may not know it as well as you do but they will definitely read it and their expertise will help improve the report. A defense presentation will last for around 2 hours. You should prepare a presentation of around 10-15 mins taking into consideration the questions and interruptions that would form a major part of the dissertation defense session.

You will either be asked to start with the presentation or asked questions directly, either way you should anticipate the questions beforehand. Whenever answering a question always maintain a neutral stance and maintain eye contact with your audience .Do not nod as it may show that you agree with their inferences. Maintain eye contact with the questioner while also including others in the room. Do not interrupt and always listen to the complete question before attempting to answer it.

It is good to remember that-

  • Presentation should be started with the review of the presentation questions and the tools and instruments used for the analyses.
  • Do head straight to the findings and conclusions.
  • Stay calm and focus on what you know rather that deviating from it
  • Dress professionally and smartly
  • Before you face your committee, practice with audience in advance.
  • Your committee wants you to do well and is there to listen and understand you. They are not there to test you. So, relax and approach your presentation with confidence.
  • Lastly, remember the fact that there will be revisions for betterment of your thesis and to gain benefits from your committee’s input.

So, prepare a great presentation and deliver it with confidence. Approach all the questions without fumbling to sail through your defense session.

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