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10 Things To Keep In Mind While Preparing For Your Dissertation Defense

When writing your thesis, it can be easily overwhelming. If you are looking for things you need to keep in mind for preparing your defence, then keep reading. Most students do not know what makes a defence successful and how they should prepare. Each person’s will be unique to them, and only as good as you work for it. It is impossible to fully anticipate every question the committee will have, but as long as you are confident in your work, you will do fine.

Tips for defending your dissertation idea

Here are ten ways you can make your defence the best you can. Following these steps will set you ahead of the other PhD students.

  1. Don’t underestimate how long it will take to go through each slide. When you make the slides, be sure to practice the order and your wording enough times. You do not have to completely memorize it, but you should know it very well.
  2. The single thing you can do to have the most impact is to listen to the recordings of other students’ defence talks. You could get a copy of some from your professor from past years in your industry.
  3. Get your friends to ask you questions. Even if your roommate or friend is not a PhD student, if they have been around while you were writing yours, they should be familiar with your work.
  4. Read over your whole thesis and write a list of your own questions to ask yourself.
  5. Escape distractions! Have the mindset that you will succeed and give a good impression to the audience. If you are distraction-free when preparing, and do not let aspects of the room or the committee worry you, you will be great.
  6. Get a good sleep the night before! Take care of yourself.
  7. Stay relaxed: there’s no need to stress yourself out unnecessarily and lose your cool.
  8. Leave thoughts about the after-party until after your defence is over. It will be too distracting during your presentation to think about the celebration.
  9. Structure your thoughts in a logical way. You need to have the order for your slides match up with the order of the chapters in your dissertation. If you do this, the committee can follow along.
  10. Lastly, visualize a successful presentation, and think about how good you will feel when it’s done!

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