Defending Your Thesis Graduate School

Your talk/presentation is only as good as you want it to be.

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Make sure you use the full two weeks to perfect your slides, polish your talk (and be very concise about your words), and review material you are unsure about.

The best way to mentally prepare for your thesis defense talk is to listen to other thesis defense talks.

My talk was ~45-50 minutes long which also leaves time for questions.

Either way, do not procrastinate on your slides and/or talk until days before.

Students schedule a time to meet with their committee to defend their work.

This involves presenting, explaining and defending of your ideas. If you are unsure of the quality of your talk (or being “ready”), tape record yourself or watch a video of yourself to see just how good it is.You might be surprised when you play it back to yourself. I noticed that I tend to talk faster (by about 5 minutes) when giving the actual public talk vs. The length of the talk can depend on many departmental factors.Tues., October 17, 2017 In graduate programs, especially those that are research-based, the culmination of the master’s or doctoral degree is the completion of the thesis or dissertation. Is it relevant to what’s happening in your field of study?Selecting a thesis or dissertation topic can actually serve as the starting point for the later defense. Will it contribute to the knowledge base or validate an existing theory in your academic field?I actually went and got a few talks on DVD (the good ones that I remembered). When nerves are running high, talks may not go as expected.If their research is on a similar topic as your own, this would be more ideal-but take what you can get. You can battle this nervousness by showing up well-prepared.After the defense, you will feel a great sense of relief. Start planning for the graduation ceremony, celebrations, and life after graduate school. After 3 months of intense thesis writing, revisions, and successfully defending (all while working a part-time job in industry), I want to share with you Part 1 of 3 of this series.Keep in mind, this is all just apart of the Ph D hazing process, and in a sense is just to humble you.At the end of the day, if you wrote a good quality thesis and are CONFIDENT, you should have no problem successfully defending and leaving that room with a sense of relief.

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