Dissertation Defense Advice: How to Write a Winning Presentation

The defense of your dissertation is a very important stage. During your defense, you may earn some extra points for being persuasive even if your paper isn’t written very well. On the other hand, if you behave too nervously during your defense, your final score might be lowered. A significant part of the defense is your presentation. Here are some tips on what slides you should include in it:

  1. The title of your work and your name.

  2. The factors that piqued your interest in this topic and caused you to start your research.

  3. The main problem of your topic.

  4. The main purpose of your research.

  5. The participants and subjects of the study.

  6. The research questions and hypotheses.

  7. The procedures conducted during your research.

  8. The results of your study.

  9. The conclusion.

This should be an approximate outline for your dissertation defense presentation. However, simply having good slides isn’t enough to earn an excellent grade for your work. You should pay attention to preparing for your speech, too. Below, you may read a few good recommendations on this matter.

  • Create your speech.
  • When defending your thesis, you should have a well-prepared speech. Basically, it should be a short version of your paper. Make sure that your speech has a good structure and that you move from one idea to another smoothly and logically.

  • Practice your speech.
  • It’s not easy to speak in front of a group of people, so you have to practice. Speak in front of your mirror in order to see yourself and eliminate any behavioral mistakes. Practice in front of your family and friends to prepare for the meeting with your committee and other listeners.

  • Watch other defenses.
  • One of the best ways to learn how to behave during your defense is to look at the defenses of other students. You may attend defenses in real time or watch some videos. Both options will be helpful.

  • Prepare for the questions.
  • It’s likely that your committee won’t listen to your presentation entirely from the beginning to the end. They may ask you some questions related to your topic right in the middle of your speech. It’s important for you to answer these questions quickly and clearly. To prepare for this, you may ask your friends and family to come up with some questions for you and make a list of possible questions for yourself.

  • Take care of yourself before the defense.
  • During your dissertation defense, you should feel healthy and rested. Make sure to get a lot of sleep and keep your diet in check.