PhD Dissertation Defense: How to Do It Successfully?

Defending your PhD dissertation certain has its challenges. Students need to think about the process thoroughly. Consider what your peers will expect from you and your content. What about the committee that will access your work and your views? There are various actions you can do to help you defend your work successfully. This can be anything from preparing a rough draft of your presentation to conducting a few practice presentations before the final moment. An important element students need to consider is planning ahead to utilize your time and work to the best of your ability.

What Discussion Points in Your Work is Most Significant?

Think about the work you have completed. What are areas you feel is most important others need to know about? You may want to include a few interesting points. This can be anything from a quote someone said in an interview, to statistics or a fact. You want to present information people will find interesting and easy to remember. Keep in mind this information should help defend your argument, so it should be convincing.

Plan Your Defense Carefully: How Do You Want the Audience to View Your Findings?

Prior to your defense consider your audience and what they will expect. You may be defending your work to colleagues, your instructor and/or the committee that will provide insight on your work. If you want to be successful at defending your work you will need to think about elements that will make the audience see things from your perspective. Visualize yourself in front of your audience; what information do they learn first, what details will stand out, and how will you be able to prove your findings? Will they like your end result?

When Practice Makes Perfect

Create a rough draft of your defense. Read it out loud a couple of times in front of a mirror or a small audience of family or friends. When you do this by yourself you get an idea of how your content sounds and how your ideas blend. With a small audience, they can hear your information but give you input on what they liked and disliked. You can write your draft in advance so you have time to make changes. You should also read over your content to make sure it is solid before your final presentation.

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