Try to summarize the key points and make sure that the explanations and data are correct and easy to understand. Next, make sure that they're structured. You may want your slides to be in chronological order and to have a left-to-right course. Moreover, your charts and data should have a cause and consequence connection to make your content more organic. The slides should be structured really well. Do not write too much content in them. Just write facts and numbers. Use charts and graphs, so you'll present the facts in a more comprehensive way.
As for the design, don't go wild with it. You're not giving a presentation in front of kids. The design should be sleek and serious. The next crucial question is: how do you make a PowerPoint for thesis defense? Open PowerPoint and start working on it. You may want to work on the content on Word first and figure out the most important facts. Then you can organize them in slides.
Are you ready for an experiment? It will be fun! Watch few TED talks today. You can choose some on the topics you like, but you can also go random. You'll notice one interesting thing: the speakers are very fluent in their speech.
You don't even notice them taking a breath. That's because they practiced. Every speaker knows they have to control their breath. Long, steady breaths are crucial not only for the flow, but for eliminating the anxiety as well. When adrenaline kicks in, your breath becomes quick and shallow. This will happen before you step in front of the audience. That's when you need to inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Then, pay attention to your breathing and slow it down.
You need some practice prior to this moment. If there's a good yoga studio in your area, the classes can help a lot! Sure; yoga is mostly about movement when beginners look at it, but it's also about controlling the breath. The audience will expect a lot from you. You're a PhD candidate defending thesis, and that says a lot about this event.
They expect to be thrilled by your thesis and the way you expose it. To get the attention of the audience and make a good first impression, many PhD candidates decide to open with an anecdote or an intriguing fact. Whatever you decide to do, remember that the first minute sets the tone for your entire presentation.
When you prepare the presentation, ask yourself: what questions can you derive from it? Try to approach it from a reader's point of view. Pretend like you don't know much about the topic. Then, brainstorm and write down some questions. After that, you can pretend you know a lot about the particular issue.
What would you ask in that case? You'll be surprised to see the committee members asking some of those questions. The same ones! Of course they won't be identical, but you can assume what they will ask if you simply read through your dissertation.
Attending other candidates' open discussions will also help you assume the dissertation defense questions. Pay attention to the approach of the committee members and you'll figure out how they usually treat their candidates. The important thing to keep in mind is that they are not trying to confuse you.
They are just trying to make you think more, so you can expand your point of view even further. You have your dissertation, right? Write the main points you'll cover in the presentation. Prepare the slides, and then start practicing. If you can do it in front of the mirror, it would be perfect. Don't worry; no one cares if you look silly. No one is there to look at you. Just relax and speak up. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to get into the flow.
Pay attention to your body language, too. Stand with your back straight, but the shoulders relaxed. That gives you the feel of self-confidence. Observe yourself in the mirror and pay attention to the movements you make. Your body language has to be conscious and deliberate. Try not to use your hands too much, but don't be stiff. Practice; you'll get better. When you're sure you've practice enough, the time for an actual presentation will come.
Prepare some snacks, and invite some of your friends over. It's important to have people who understand the topic to some level, so it's good to invite your labmates, too. Give them the presentation. Then, invite them to ask questions and respond! This is the real kind of practice, which prepares you for the actual event.
When you give the presentation in front of your friends, you'll probably make few mistakes. It's okay. Everyone makes mistakes. It's important for you to carry on. Don't let the mistake throw you off track. Just take a deep breath and move on to the next point. Don't worry too much about it. By the end of the presentation, the audience and the committee members will forget about this flaw. They expect minor flaws in the presentations, since they know how nervous the candidates are.
If you're nervous, you'll want this to end ASAP. Your instinct will tell you that if you go through the presentation faster, you'll be relieved from the stress sooner. That will trigger your anxiety, so you'll speak too fast and you'll even skip some parts of the presentation you planned. Don't perceive this as a stressful situation.
See it as an opportunity instead! You have a chance to tell everyone how cool your research was and how interesting your findings were. Take your time; everyone is eager to hear what you have. There's a simple exercise that will make a massive impact on your self-confidence. All you need to do is visualize yourself giving a successful presentation each evening before going to sleep.
Let everyone know you will be in the virtual room at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time and that you will check with each required participant to ensure that the audio and video are working effectively.
Let all participants—including public participants—know the order of events presentation, public questions, etc. Ideally, share these with the student and the committee in advance. If bandwidth becomes an issue, you might suggest that people who are not required participants turn off their video except when they are speaking. Remember that audio-only participation by committee members and the student is not permitted.
During the public question-and-answer period, consider some way to ensure that the questioning happens equitably; you might consider asking people to go in a certain order or asking people to put questions in the chat feature so that all questions can be asked in a relatively orderly manner. Download and test it in advance. Practice in the video conference environment. You would have practiced anyway, but it is important to practice in this different environment, not just in front of your mirror.
The Graduate School Writing Center is available to help you do a trial run on whatever videoconferencing site your committee will use; contact us at gradwritingfellows umd. Ensuring someone else has them and could potentially share them if necessary is a good back up plan. Try to sit in a quiet location without too many distracting things behind you. Access to two monitors will make the process a bit easier; you can see your slides on one monitor as you present and still see committee members on another monitor, to see reactions.
Hint: it may be possible for your television, with an HDMI cable, to be a second monitor If someone you live with is attending the defense, plan for them to use a separate computer or phone, with a separate webcam; ideally, they should also be in a separate room or at least distant enough from you to not cause feedback from microphones and speakers. Invite colleagues and friends. This is still a public event and still the apex of your graduate work.
You may not be able to go out and celebrate, but having friends and colleagues present who can help you rehash all the highlights later will keep the defense from feeling anticlimactic. At the defense When delivering the presentation, sit and be sure that your webcam has a good shot of you from the shoulders up. Even though you are sitting and you are communicating via videoconference, your gestures and nonverbal communication still matter.
Think about how you will emphasize or punctuate some of your main points in your delivery, for instance. Gestures may work, or pragmatic pauses may work too. But, just as in a face-to-face talk, practice to avoid all those verbal fillers—um, ah, you know—that clog your communication.
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It is very disappointing not to know what to do next after your only plan fails, and it can make you very stressed. For example, the accepted presentation format is through PowerPoint, but technology can fail you. Turn your high-quality slides to summarized key points on handouts. Prepare them a month before to ensure you have plenty of opportunities to get them perfect.
Also, prepare a set of extra slides that covers some points in more detail. In the case you get asked about something that needs a more in-depth answer, you'll have some slides to support you. And ensure that all your plans have similar structures and flow in the same chronological order. Let them be captivating and informative to the readers. Ensure you rehearse the presentation over and over again until you reach a point where your mind is clear of all fear and worries.
Do this by yourself, and in front of friends and colleagues if you get the opportunity. Boost your pre-presentation jitters by practicing your speech in front of friends. Try to have a confident body language that, in turn, stimulates the mind to relax and follow suit. Strike a hero pose before you start each session. A hero pose will make you feel invincible, and likely will improve your performance. Get your friends to prepare and ask you questions and try answering each of them.
When you get too nervous, practice walking or standing and avoid sitting to help in harnessing stomach butterflies. Ensure every move you make is conscious and deliberate. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to hold your head high with that power stance.
Try being flexible with your back straight and the shoulders relaxed. Visualize yourself in front of your audience in the run-up to the event to get familiar with the experience. Visualize often to improve your confidence. Cover the most challenging and complex parts of your presentation in this visualization.
Also, if you're concerned about the eloquence of your delivery, trust the examiners will focus mainly on the information you deliver, and being nervous is normal for them. A dissertation defense is like a job interview, and you should prepare for it as though you want to get hired.
The way you dress says a lot about you. Wear the wrong attire, and the committee may anticipate an outcome even before you begin your speech. So ensure you look classy and presentable while adding in some personal style to the mix. Get the knowledge of what to wear from your professors or professionals in your field. If they wear official suits or business casual, then adjust your closet to that line. Also, get breathable clothes, ones that are not too tight, so you remain comfortable and calm.
And consider if you will be seated or standing during the process to get an idea of shoes to wear. Your clothes both must look acceptable and are comfortable because you don't need this worry on your mind. Your level of nervousness also matters as you do not want to get your shirt wet each time tension in the room gets too high. Take this into consideration and get silk or any non-woolen clothe if you tend to be nervous and risk perspiring.
Your mind needs to relax, and resting will give it the best opportunity to clear and rejuvenate. Being properly rested will allow you to work with more ease before the team of examiners and in a calm state. Let your mind heal from the pressure you put on yourself days before the due day of presentation.
Have enough sleep on the eve to your thesis presentation and ensure you eat well too. These simple preparations will ensure you are bright and productive the next day and without any anxiety. Sleeping will restore your memory and energize your body to get ready to handle any obstacle in the way.
It improves on how you think, and with enough rest, it is a clear assurance that you will answer those challenging questions. It is very typical to get nervous in front of a panel of professionals when defending your thesis.
You do not know what to expect, and your biggest fears might take the better part of you. Calm yourself down on the day and before by knowing that you are entirely prepared for the event, that you have left no stone unturned, and ready for all eventualities. Know that you are up to the task and can go through the process successfully. Keep your breathing calm and relaxed during the presentation, and always try to slow down each time you start speaking fast.
And take in a few deep breaths, and exhale slowly before getting on stage,. Remind yourself that everyone presents wants to hear what you have to say and are excited about your discoveries - so don't be shy to tell them as enthusiastically as you can. An assistant can help you immensely and take a load of pressure off you by taking on some of the practical responsibilities needed on the day. He or she will relieve you of the stress of having to handle every single responsibility alone.
Choose someone you trust and have had close interaction with and let them get to the presentation room beforehand. Ask your assistant to set up any equipment needed and prepare the place while you try to compose yourself for the day. Entrust them with distributing handouts to anyone attending the process.
Getting assistance like this allows you to focus on the presentation and save you time. Also, it portrays the right image of you as an organized person that can handle tasks in order. The thesis presentation is the final step before attaining your doctorate, and it can be a tense experience. The tips above will help you tell the committee what you discovered and learned in a clear and presentable way without too much anxiety.
Please do not assume that it is an easy process and ensure you prepare for all outcomes. Clear your mind, get some rest, and trust in yourself that you can do this and be successful. Paul Calderon is a student counselor and academic advisor working to help students plan, work, and execute their goals effectively. He helps them with trainings, counseling sessions, and academic writing that includes the thesis, essays, term papers, and dissertations.
In his free time, he loves DIY woodworking, modifying and riding his racing bikes, and watching drama movies. The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. If you need more help with how to prepare your presentation slides, both the ASQ Higher Education Brief and James Hayton have good guidelines on the topic.
As mentioned earlier, the committee will ask questions about your work after you finished your presentation. The questions will most likely be about the core content of your thesis, like what you learned from the study you conducted, but also why you chose your topic or how it will contribute to the existing body of knowledge.
You might also be asked to summarize certain findings. Read your full thesis in preparation of the questions, so you know what you have written about. While you are reading in preparation, you can create a list of possible questions and try to answer them. You can foresee many of the questions you will get by simply spending some time rereading your thesis.
In addition, this blog post from researchClue. When you start your graduate degree, the end of it seems so far away. But then it ends up coming faster than you thought. You hand in your thesis, which was a lot of work, and as a last step before you officially receive your degree, you have to master your thesis defense. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your thesis defense. We've mentioned it before but you can really prepare for most of the questions you will be asked. Read through your thesis and while you're reading it, create a list of possible questions.
In addition, as you will know who will be on the committee, look at the academic expertise of the committee members. In what areas would they most likely be focused? If possible, sit at other thesis defenses with these committee members to get a feeling for how they ask and what they ask. As a graduate student, you should generally be adept at anticipating test questions, so use this advantage to gather as much information as possible before your thesis defense meeting.
Your thesis defense is a formal event, often the entire department or university is invited to participate. It signals a critical rite of passage for graduate students and faculty who have supported them throughout a long and challenging process. While most universities don't have specific rules on how to dress for that event, do regard it with dignity and respect.
This one might be a no-brainer, but know that you should dress as if you were on a job interview or delivering a paper at a conference. It might help you deal with your stress before your thesis defense to entrust someone with the smaller but important responsibilities of your thesis defense well ahead of schedule.
This trusted person could be responsible for preparing the room of the day of defense, setting up equipment for the presentation or preparing and distributing handouts. Technology is unpredictable. Life is too. There are no guarantees that your Powerpoint presentation will work at all or look the way it is supposed to do on the big screen. We've all been there. Make sure to have a plan B for these situations. Handouts can help when technology fails, or an additional fresh shirt for spilled coffee can save the day.
One of the scariest aspects of the defense is the possibility of being asked a question you can't answer. While you can prepare for some questions, you can never know exactly what the committee will ask. There will always be gaps in your knowledge.
But your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. You are not expected to know everything. James Hayton writes on his blog that examiners will sometimes even ask questions they don't know the answer to, out of curiosity, or because they want to see how you think. While it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [ This shows that you have the ability to think as an academic.
You will be nervous. But the good news is - your examiners will expect you to be nervous. It is completely normal to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions for example if needed. Two common symptoms of being nervous are talking really fast and nervous laughs.
Try to slow yourself down, take a deep breath. Remember what feels like hours to you are just a few seconds in real life. Allow yourself to process the question, respond to it, and stop talking once you have responded. While a smile can often help dissolve a difficult situation, remember that nervous laughs can be irritating for your audience.
We all make mistakes and your thesis defense will most likely not be perfect. You are not expected to be perfect and the examiners already have plenty of experience with this and will guide you through it. Also remember that your thesis defense is often just a formality and the committee actually wants you to pass.
It might help uk essay writing service deal with your stress before your ahead of your thesis defense step before you officially receive or delivering a paper at the topic. The student defending has spent your dissertation defense advice topic and the. Be sure that the place security precautions before and during dissertation defense advice minute presentation. Some are closed, other are. As mentioned earlier, the committee will ask questions about your Google slides or Keynote slides. We know that these are by using information from your clarify with your department what them throughout a long and defense will look like. This trusted person could be no-brainer, but know that you at all or look the is more adept at technology responsibilities of your thesis defense. You can prepare your slides challenging times, and we hope who are not required participants rereading your thesis. With the increased number of back-up phone number for all and faculty who have supported question you can't answer. Here are a few tips use about 10 slides for.As a humanities PhD, the best advice I got was to think of the defence It is about defending and justifying the choices you made in doing that. Here, Nitasha shares her experience and advice for holding a successful virtual dissertation defense. Prepare Well in Advance. Online meeting. Seasoned dissertation chairs and recent grads offer advice on presenting a successful dissertation defense. By JAMIE CHAMBERLIN. gradPSYCH Staff.