How to Make an Effective Dissertation Defense Presentation
The dissertation defense is coming, and it is a very stressful period in your life. Despite the fact that there are a lot of speech presentations behind the dissertation, the defense in particular seems to be the hardest one because it is a critical step forward in your professional and academic career. To create an impressive dissertation defense presentation, the following steps should be taken:
- Prepare a script of your presentation.
- Illustrate your ideas visually.
- Rehearse your presentation.
- Make your presentation.
Make a draft of what your dissertation is about. Review your paper and brainstorm. Write down the main idea, important concepts, supporting ideas, and key decisions made in the process of research. Give answers to the following questions: What is the purpose of this dissertation? What methods and instruments were chosen for the research? What are the findings of the work? How can these findings be used for future research within this field of study? Structure your notes, revise them, and arrange all the ideas into a script; narrating your presentation from title to conclusions. At this stage, everything possible must be done to create a story that would catch the audience’s attention, make it follow your ideas, and understand what you want to convey.
Prepare visual materials. PowerPoint or any other software may be used to convert the text of your presentation into images and complement your story. Try to create a memorable title for each of the slides. Use graphs and figures, bullet points, and minimal words. Make the text and images as large as possible.
Practice your speech out loud. Feel the words, and see which phrases seem awkward and which sound natural. Check if there are any places which appear to be difficult to understand. There is still time to make changes in your script and slides. Rehearse your presentation several times until you don’t have the need to peep at the notes.
Speak clearly and confidently. Look directly into people’s eyes. Only those who aren’t sure in their beliefs avoid direct eye contact. Be ready to be interrupted and answer any questions. Be confident in your personal point of view. You know the topic, and can easily insist on your opinion and prove it. Don’t get involved in idle debates, but rely on the scientific sources and research of other scholars to explain your ideas. Don’t hurry, for something important may be missed. Breathe and try to stay calm.