You have taken a lot of time researching and writing your dissertation but you still have one more crucial step to go. PhD dissertation defense is a frightening prospect for most students even when they have done an impeccable job of research and compiling their paper. It is understandable that standing in front of a panel of scholars who know more than you is not the easiest of tasks but you have to remember many people have done it before you.
You can ace this stage by competently answering all dissertation defense questions like an experienced scholar. To help you with your dissertation defense, below are some crucial tips you should consider. Read on.
Understand The Objective Of The Dissertation Defense
To overcome the fear of the dissertation panel, consider their role and you will easily gain confidence before the big day. The dissertation committee is not there to harass you but instead, they want to verify you have conducted original, first-class scientific research. More importantly, they want to ascertain that when you go to the field, you can conduct an independent research program.
At the same time, this panel wants to evaluate your communication skills when under pressure. During the dissertation defense presentation, the panel wants to determine if you can persuasively communicate the results of your project.
Keep In Touch With The Dissertation Panel
The best way to prepare for a dissertation defense is to acquaint yourself with the panel during the dissertation proposal and afterward. This way, you will learn the interest and temperament of different members. You won’t walk into a room full of strangers but instead, you will have an idea what to expect during the doctoral dissertation defense.
Practice Your Dissertation Presentation
One of the greatest blunders many students make is to underestimate the time it takes to make a good dissertation defense PowerPoint presentation. You need to practice working with any tools you need before the big day. Prepare in front of family or friends with all resources as this will give you an idea of the time you need. Time your talk to avoid droning on and on and make sure your slides work perfectly before the big day.
Evaluate Your Dissertation
When preparing for a dissertation defense, it is advisable to walk away from your work for some time. Once you have a fresh look at the dissertation, you will notice weaknesses and limitations which you can remedy before the defense. Make sure you understand the assumptions and limitations of your conclusions before standing in front of the dissertation committee.
Prepare For Any Questions
It is important to guess the questions you expect from the committee and have answers for them before the dissertation defense. You should not limit yourself to the gist of the research only because some members will ask questions at the edge of your work. Think broadly about anything related to your work and the context within which your study and conclusions happen.
Other crucial dissertation defense tips include brushing up on your literature knowledge, getting enough sleep before the big day, reading and watching other dissertation defense sessions and having a fresh pair of eyes look at your paper.