After completing their thesis, which is a long journey to graduate, master and Ph.D. students appear before the jury. Now you only have to dodge the jury and defend your thesis for your expertise. After the committee has reviewed your thesis, if it sees no problem with the thesis, it will call you to defend it. The jury will decide whether your thesis passes, needs revisions, needs to be resubmitted, or is not approved. And if it is successful, that day will be the day you will realize your dreams and reach the degree you want. So what can you do to make it easier for you to ace? Here are some tips for you.
1. Prepare a good Presentation for defense
Presentation techniques need time to be allocated, planned, and developed. Thorough preparation is essential for a good jury experience. First of all, you should choose a template that matches your thesis and set a theme in which you can highlight your work. While the striking and attractive first slides explain the reasons why you wrote the thesis, the following slides explain some of the main parts of the thesis while paying attention to style and typography. Then the literature review slide comes into play. Here you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject. Then you will give the audience the basic information about your thesis by emphasizing the important points with the methodology and conclusion section. It will be helpful to use tables, charts, infographics, and visual content to increase understanding during the presentation. Check the system to avoid technical problems during the presentation with a final repetition on the day of the jury.
On this website, you can find detailed advice and slide templates for a quality presentation. Link for the website [online] Available at: https://slidemodel.com/proper-thesis-defense-using-right-powerpoint-presentation/
2. Rehearse the Thesis defense
The last stage of the thesis process, which is required for the completion of the master’s degree, is the defense after the submission. You complete your presentation before the committee inquiries. It would be helpful to present your essay in front of others that might be to your friends, family, or academic audience. Thanks to this training, can help you adjust your slide time, be prepared for the questions that will come to you, and notice if you have mistakes. You need to follow your advisor’s advice. Receiving feedback will strengthen your defense.
3. Be prepared for possible Questions
Fundamental questions about the thesis can be found on the internet and how appropriate answers can be sought for them. Another method might be to observe your colleagues’ thesis defenses so you can be prepared for questions. By learning what awaits you, your self-confidence can be restored. In addition, the committee’s areas of expertise are among the factors that will create questions. Some very frequently asked questions are: In a few sentences, can you tell us what your study is all about; What is your motivation for this study; Based on your findings what are your recommendations? (Rafael.C, 2014)
But what if you are asked an unexpected or unanswered question? It’s better to be humble and admit that you don’t know than unfounded answers. You may not know the answer to every question. Sometimes questions aren’t meant to be answered, but to see how you react under pressure, stress, and how you get out of tough situations.
4. Your Attire matters in Jury
Appearance is an important factor in terms of respect and first impression in professional and official environments. Even if you say that my job represents me, not my appearance, clothing is important to reveal your self-confidence and show your best performance. Clothes affect your gait, speech, emotions, and body language. By choosing the right clothes, you can reflect this attitude of seriousness, work ethics, and respect. Making a good impression is a safe approach.
5. You’re Ready, Deal with the Tension
To err is human and one may not be perfect. But remember, if you make a mistake or have difficulty because of the questions asked, it doesn’t mean that the committee is trying to make you fail. No one on the jury has personal problems with you. On the contrary, they want to help you. Before coming to the jury, they have already reviewed and evaluated your thesis.
You were there when you wrote the thesis, you know best what you are writing and why. All you have to do is pass on what you know. It’s normal to be nervous, just be confident. Don’t try to give quick and hasty answers and finish the presentation as soon as you’re nervous, instead, it’s best to wait and respond with firm answers and practice breathing control. If you have a problem with public speaking, creating a speaking plan and rehearsing the transcript before giving a speech will help you relax.
- Rafael Chidi, (2014), How to ace the 25 most common project defense questions, [online].Available at: https://nairaproject.com/blog/25-common-project-defense-questions.html [Accessed 27 February 2022].