It is normal to be anxious before you have to face your PhD dissertation defense session. While a defense session is unpredictable and unique for every candidate, there are some common ways to come out of it successfully. Although you cannot prepare yourself for endless possible situations and questions, here are five essentials that may bring you success.
Prepare and practice well
It is critical to practice before you appear for your career’s most important show. Thus, start as early as possible. Be ready with your presentation slides well in advance to avoid last-minute stress. You can try practicing repeatedly by listening to other defense talks on DVDs and by giving mock presentations. You can also record your mock talks and check their quality and time to make further improvements.
Be clear and focused
Using complex language and being too technical in your talk can be boring to a general audience. Make sure to weave it like a clear and logical story. Of course, you may add some elements of fun and questions to retain the interest of audience. However, keep your content structured and focused in order to give a good impression of your fine understanding of the project.
While you cannot predict the real-time questions to be faced, you can at least be prepared by receiving critical feedback from people familiar with your work. Ask your peers or friends to pose drilling questions. It will boost up your confidence at the right time.
Keep a positive/confident mindset
Read your project in detail and feel confident about your knowledge. While you may not know all the answers to the questions of committee members or audience, stay positive about what you know and admit what you do not.
Take care and relax
It is important to stay physically fit in order to remain mentally alert. Give yourself time to relax and feel good about your moment when it comes.
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