Useful Strategies For Preparing For Your Dissertation Defense

After the grueling work of writing your dissertation, it is time to defend it. This stage is as important as the process of writing. The presentation or defense forms part of your final grade. This means that it must be taken seriously. Here are strategies to make your defense the best.

  • Finish early
  • You have a lot of time to finish your work before the stipulated date for defense. During planning, ensure that you have enough time between compiling and defense. It allows you to relax and even review some of the ideas before making an oral presentation. Preparing for your defense in a rush will lead to glaring errors that affect the quality of your work.

  • Understand you content
  • This is your dissertation and must be presented with confidence and authority. This can only happen if you understand the topic and content you are dealing with. Since you have researched and compiled the work, it will be easier to understand. It is necessary to understand the context of your topic beyond your paper. It enables you to easily clarify points arising out of your presentation without being restricted to what is in your paper.

  • Make brief notes or summaries
  • Defense is not an opportunity to repeat all that is in your paper. You will be required to provide highlights to the audience since the time available cannot be used to go through the entire document. Prepare a summary with points that will guide your presentation. The points are easier to follow and recall as opposed to flipping through a voluminous paper.

  • Make mock presentations
  • Gather friends, colleagues or other students and make a mock defense of your dissertation. Allow the team to criticize your work and make corrections. This will help sharpen your final presentation. You will have an idea of the response to expect from the audience during defense. You may also record your performance and review it with the aim of making the presentation better.

  • Relax
  • As much as this is a serious engagement, take it easy. You have been working on it for some time and should be confident with what is contained in the final document. Tension will only affect your memory and performance. Find a comfortable posture and be ready for any question or comment.

Seek the guidance of your supervisor when preparing to defend your dissertation. Discuss on the requirements including time and other presentation resources. If possible, attend the defense by other people before your turn comes.