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How to Prepare Yourself for Dissertation Defense

You have written and submitted your dissertation. Do you think it’s over now? Think again. Students who are enrolled in a PhD degree are required to defend their dissertation as well. What do we mean by that? Well, it’s one thing to write a dissertation. However, to really evaluate that you know the field and area of your study, you would have to defend your dissertation in front of committee members of the university. Even if you have taken the help of a dissertation writing UK based service, the process of defending your dissertation would be done by you.

Dissertation defense may give you a surge of anxiety if you are someone that freezes in the presence of a big crowd. A dissertation defense is like a PowerPoint presentation that you would have to give in front of your class and dissertation committee members. Nerves play a big role here. Preparing beforehand is crucial for your dissertation defense. You cannot fail in your dissertation defense if you are to become a credible academic in the future. Preparing is key, and we are here to help you with that. This article is dedicated to helping you prepare for your dissertation defense. We have jotted down a number of points that will help you prepare for the big day.

Take Inspiration from Others

The good part about dissertation defense is you are not giving it alone. Everyone from your class will be expected to defend their dissertation in front of everybody. Some will nail their presentation, while others will make blunders. This is particularly good for your dissertation defense. How? You may ask? Well, you can carefully evaluate what works and what doesn’t when it comes to giving a successful dissertation defense.

Carefully watch and evaluate your fellow students’ dissertation defense. See, what techniques are they using? How are they starting their introduction? What is their body language? Moreover, you need to carefully evaluate the reactions of the committee members as well. Seeing what works and what doesn’t will give you the edge. Note down important discoveries that you have made in your evaluation and implement them in your dissertation defense preparation.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of Committee Members

When preparing your dissertation defense, it is important to see from the perspectives of the ones evaluating you. Put yourself in the shoes of your committee members. What type of questions will they ask? Are there any loopholes in my dissertation? Be critical about your dissertation. Go all out on your dissertation.

If you go all out critiquing your dissertation, it would give you the necessary time to defend your dissertation. Moreover, you would be surprised to see the same questions being asked by your committee members. Of course, not all would be the same questions like yours. The key point to take from this step you have to be prepared. Know your dissertation backwards. Eliminate every possible scenario of attack and work hard on your dissertation defense.

Create a Powerful PowerPoint Presentation

There is no presentation without PowerPoint. PowerPoint is the foundation of presentations. Your dissertation defense will be based on many things. You have to be fluent in the workings of PowerPoint. You can’t expect to excel in your dissertation defense if you are not well-versed in PowerPoint. Presentation is everything, and PowerPoint slides will cater to that.

Work on your PowerPoint slides. Polish them, and make sure they look attractive. Of course, the content in it is also crucial however it is the visual that catches the eye first. See what your fellow students are doing in their PowerPoint Slides. If you find one standing out from the rest, note it down for your own use. In a nutshell, your PowerPoint slides should be visually attractive and have a clear and to-the-point content.  

Deliver an Engaging Introduction

You have probably heard the phrase, the first impression is the last impression. This holds particularly true when you are delivering a presentation. Your introduction is going to be playing a big role in your dissertation defense presentation. Your introduction will set the pace and mood of your entire dissertation defense. You have to make your introduction stand out from the competition.

The committee sitting in front of you is not expecting anything. They are here to evaluate many dissertation defenses. To them, you are one of many. However, it is your duty to make them feel that you are not one of many, but rather your dissertation defense is worth their time. Work on your introduction. Don’t underestimate the importance of your introduction. Your dissertation defense’s success is predicated on it.

Work on Your Body Language

Have you ever watched a TED talk? If you haven’t, do watch it. You are going to embody the shell of a speaker and watching a TED talk will give you the necessary idea of how. If you know anything about public speaking, you know the importance of body language. Body language and posture tell a lot about a person speaking.

Your posture and stance will define how confident you are to your audience. For your dissertation defense, you have to appear confident even if you are anxious on the inside. You have to be the master of yourself. You should know how to control your nerves. It is one thing to prepare your dissertation defense, however, it is another to battle the stage fright.

Practice Your Defense

One good way of knowing how well you are prepared to fight your stage fright is by practising. Gather your friends at your house and deliver your presentation in front of them. Ask them to ask you questions and treat you exactly how the committee members will treat you. Practice makes it perfect.

When you practice your dissertation defense in front of an audience, it will allow you to see where you are lacking behind. Maybe it is your pauses. Maybe it is your hand gestures. Take necessary feedback from your audience, in your case, it is your friends.  

Don’t Panic if You Make Mistakes

Another important thing you need to factor in is that you will make mistakes in your dissertation defense. Making mistakes and small blunders are not the problems you don’t want in your dissertation defense. It is the lack of ability to continue upon making a mistake that is the problem.

Often times, when a student makes a mistake, they freeze in their step and are unable to continue onwards. However, a great speaker is one that overcomes their blunder and proceeds with their speech. Your dissertation defense needs to be smooth. Don’t worry if you forget something or mispronounce something. Acknowledge it and move on.

Take Your Time

You have to prepare for your dissertation defense exactly as you had prepared for your dissertation. Both should be treated as equal. You can use dissertation writing UK based service to enhance the process of dissertation writing. However, in your dissertation defense, you need to take your time.

Often times, students fail to realize that rushing will add nothing to their dissertation defense. When delivering your dissertation defense, take the necessary time. Try to be as comfortable as possible. You need to control the time, and not let time control you.

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