A Comprehensive Guide On How To Pass Your Thesis Defense

The one thing you probably want to do the most immediately after completing your thesis is take a long break or celebrate for a job well done. Unfortunately, your journey towards a degree in your discipline area isn’t over yet, as the defense of your thesis before a committee of academic professors still waits before you can pop open that bottle of champagne. For a lot of students this final step is a daunting challenge, and it’s really not a surprise considering all the time and effort that has already been spent research and writing the thesis in the several months leading to the defense. But with enough preparation this last step can go much easier. Here’s a comprehensive guide on all you have to know:

  1. Sit in on a Few of Your Peers’ Defenses
  2. Chances are you don’t really know how these presentations work, so it would be a great idea to sit in on a few of your peers’ presentations to get an idea about the processes to expect. You’ll get to see what works and what doesn’t and can get used to the kind of questions you can expect to hear from the committee, as well as how to best handle small interuptions.

  3. Practice Timing Your Defense Appropriately
  4. A defense should run about 25 to 30 minutes – no more, no less. Consider that you will receive a number of questions, so you should plan for delivering about 15 – 20 minutes of a rehearsed defense along with about 10 minutes’ worth of questions and responses.

  5. Do Dry Runs in Order to Practice Speech
  6. A lot of people freeze up when they are given their presentation. This is usually caused not by stage fright but because they get tripped up over their own speech. Practice in front of a mirror, paying attention to how you deliver your sentences and where you are looking when you do so. You’ll feel more comfortable and in place when you finally do give your presentation.

  7. Get Plenty of Rest and Have a Full Meal
  8. This last step is a habit you should have practiced throughout your time in higher education and should carry forth in your professional life. It’s important to get a full night’s rest in order to wake up refreshed and alert. It’s just as important to eat a healthy and full meal before you make your presentation.

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