Though you have completed your thesis, the big task is still left, defending your thesis. Arguing a research committee down seems an intimidating task, but thesis defence is the only way to share your research work with peers. You cannot afford even a little mistake when it comes to convincing your PhD research committee that your thesis contributes to existing knowledge.
Thesis defence takes in two steps: presentation of your findings and questions by doctoral research board. So read on and get prepared to defend your research like a boss!
Your thesis presentation will discuss the goals and objectives of your research, literature review, methodologies, findings and recommendation. It is a lengthy process to explain everything step by step in detail so that your committee members can decipher your research work. Follow these tips to prepare for your thesis presentation.
Practise your presentation at home to increase your comfort level with slides. You should set the timings for each piece of presentation such as goals should be explained within 2 minutes, literature review and methodologies within 10 minutes, findings within 10 minutes and recommendation within 5 minutes. This will allow you to remain within the recommended time for your presentation. Your audience might not be familiar with your research area so do not include any inherent assumption in your statement. You should practise to spell out your rationale for findings and recommendations.
Slides will help you formulate the flow of your presentation. It should not have information, word for word that you wrote in your thesis, instead, it should be concise and short. Insert keywords, diagrams, charts, and graphs in your slides that will help you share key information with your audience.
When your presentation gets over, your audience will ask questions. This is a good as well as scary part of your thesis defence. To perform well during this phase, you should know about your research committee. Consider the research expertise of your committee members and then accordingly formulate possible questions that they can ask you. Brainstorm questions that your doctoral board can ask you about your research area and think of their answers. At the time of thesis defence, you should have a paper and pen to record questions that your research board will ask you. Penning down questions will help you answer more comprehensively. If you are asked a question out of interest whose answer you are not aware of, you should not overtly say that “I do not know”. Instead, you should think about how you can relate that question to your research. This will demonstrate your research committee that you can think and answer like a PhD scholar.
The thesis defence is a stage where you reveal your knowledge of your research area. Be true to your studies and follow the above-mentioned tips.