Five Easy Tricks To Help You With Dissertation Defense Preparation


For many a dissertation defense is a key moment in life. Since you have probably spent lots of time and efforts on writing it, you want to make the best of presenting your findings. The main thing is to do everything in time. If you submit the final draft several weeks before the defense, you will be able to craft a good speech and think of everything to be mentioned.


Preparing for Dissertation Defense: 5 Steps

  1. Reread your work.
  2. Although you probably have down this for hundreds of times, keep everything fresh in your mind. The committee will have an opportunity to read your thesis carefully, so focus on your methods, generalize your main ideas and select credible evidence to support facts.


  3. Predict the questions.
  4. While rereading your paper, make a list of questions the audience may ask. Even if you don’t guess, it helps to see the weak points and understand ideas better. Ask your friends or colleagues to ask you something, as they may suggest something new or ask unusual questions.


  5. Look for examples.
  6. Listen to other defenses or find video-records. It’s better to watch, not just listen to presentations because you can see the slides and notice how a person behaves. Remember, that non-verbal communication also matters. Note the others’ mistakes and merits and make your own list of things to do and to avoid.


  7. Rehearse your talk.
  8. Public speaking skills aren’t innate, they improve with practice. Try speaking in front of a mirror at first. Then, practice before the real audience. The more times you speak in public on your topic, the more confident you will be during your defense.


  9. Don’t forget about yourself.
  10. The hardships of writing a thesis are numerous but when you turn it in at last, start thinking of yourself. Coming to the defense with a running nose and dark circles under your eyes isn’t an option. Keep fit, get enough sleep and try to cool your nerves.


Shaping Your Dissertation Defense: Final Advice

While preparing a speech and slides, always think of your audience. First of all, there won’t be only scholars, so don’t overload the talk with smart words. Secondly, make it logical, so that everyone can see what you are driving at. Follow the structure of your work and explain your motives.


Don’t learn your speech by heart. It’s better to match it with slides, so you can rely on them while talking. Pay enough attention both to the talk and to the visualization.

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