The dissertation defense is your chance to stand for your research and results. It’s also your chance to know what other experts think about your work. Their questions and comments can be the base for further research and improvement in your expertise in your chosen field.
However, you also have to consider certain things to effectively defend your dissertation. These 10 tips discussed in this article will be very helpful in getting ready for a successful defense of your work.
1. Maintain your physical and mental fitness
The reason this tip is in the first position is that everything will depend on your fitness on the day of presenting your dissertation. It’s quite obvious and normal if you feel nervous, but a strong mental state and good memory can help you overcome nervousness. Remember that a strong mind and a powerful memory depends on strong physical health.
So take care of your health. Do exercise and meditation daily, eat healthily, and sleep well. This is as important as research for your scientific paper. It’s also equally important as your preparation is for the dissertation defense.
2. Learn public speaking and presentation skills
If you have done this before, i.e. public speaking or presentation, it would be relatively easy for you to present and defend your dissertation in front of the questioning committee. If you are going to do this for the first time, you should learn and practice it.
In either case, you have to observe yourself for improvements. Check if your speech is smooth and voice is steady. Also, check if you feel anxious while speaking. Watch conferences and research presentations given by successful people. Observe their style and tone, develop your own, and you will be better at defending your dissertation given that you know the answers to every question.
3. Know what it takes to defend from the successful students
Being ready for the presentation and being fit for the day is good. But knowing about real experiences from the past successful students can be a great help. Meet the students and discuss how they felt while defending their scientific thesis.
Also, ask for their suggestions and feedback to improve your defense. You can also have an idea on deep the committee members can go to know about your research and it’s worth. It will help you get yourself ready for the dissertation presentation before your professors.
4. Gather as many questions as possible with their answers
One of the best ways to win any discussion or debate is to be ready with the answers to any possible question. Do the same preparation for your defense day. Get your dissertation read by as many people as possible and get possible questions from them. And have answers to all the questions.
Also, get ready for the unexpected questions. Re-read your paper for several times and think from the point of view of a reader with the same level of knowledge and expertise as you. This way, you will defend your dissertation against most of the unexpected questions.
5. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field
Knowing what is going on in your field can make a big difference. There may be a question which is not clearly addressed. It may be the case that a development is completely new, and you have not included it in your dissertation. In that case, it would be very helpful if you have all the latest updates regarding your field. However, if you have a fear to miss the necessary information, you may try this out.
Stay tuned with the latest news on researches on your chosen subject. Read magazines and journals regularly to stay up-to-date. It will save you from stress and nervousness in the room while defending your dissertation.
6. You are the master your dissertation
Though you will be asked the questions from the experts and experienced people, remember that you are the master of your work. You are the person who knows the most about your dissertation. You have done your research and you are the person who understands the results and outcomes better than any person in the room.
So be confident and have faith in yourself. Assure yourself that you are the expert and the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the discussion on your dissertation. It’s ok not to know everything, but you should be high on confidence for whatever you know. This will help you stay strong and relaxed during the presentation of your work to the board.
7. Know who are you going to face
The committee members are experts in their fields. There are great chances that they will be knowing something that you don’t know in the subject you have chosen for your dissertation. So, check updates on their work and see their recent contributions.
While you will be knowing more about your dissertation, knowing about the recent work of the committee members can help you a lot. Try to figure out possible questions from them. Some may be friendly and will share their questions before the meeting, others may keep you in suspense. Thus doing some hard-work in guessing their possible questions will help you in defending your dissertation effectively.
8. Know the place and arrangements
If you know about the tools and arrangements of the meeting room, you will save last minute stress. Make a list of gadgets you should be carrying in the room so that you don’t have to look for help from the staff.
Ask the administration staff about the procedure and set up and prepare accordingly. Some universities use an overhead projector while some use a tabletop projector. Some provide laptop while other require you to bring your own. Some may also require you to hand over the prints of important charts and diagrams. So, get ready with your tools like a laptop, microphone, pen drive and other tools to avoid confusion and save time.
9. Have a positive end in mind
Stay relaxed and be positive about the results. Also, get ready for the celebration with your family, relatives, and friends. It will be your day and will not come again. So have complete faith in yourself and see yourself successful as it will have a positive impact on your physical appearance and mental state during the defense of your dissertation.
10 Take feedback and comments positively
Even if you have worked very hard and taken care of every small detail during your research, there may be some points missing in your dissertation. Comments, suggestions, and feedback on those points from the questioning professors will be useful for your further research.
It’s completely acceptable and is your chance to broaden your knowledge in the field. So, take them positively and assure yourself to be ready to work further on them.
We hope you will be better at defending your dissertation with the help of these tips.