Nail Your Thesis Defense: Top Eight Tips To Impress Your Examiners And Ace Your Presentation

Nail Your Thesis Defense: Top Eight Tips To Impress Your Examiners And Ace Your Presentation


You are just one step away to get graduated and claiming your professional doctorate in education by defending your thesis which most of the final years’ students are afraid of.

Most of the students overthink and develop stress and anxiety before presenting their thesis in front of their examiner. They fear that the examiner asks them some of the most critical and hard-to-answer questions and they not be able to answer those questions and defend their thesis properly.

If you are also going through a similar situation then no need to worry, we got you covered.

In this blog post, we will be sharing some of the most effective ways of preparing for technical questions in thesis defense, which will help you to become confident and also increase your chances to garner compliments from your examiners.

Revise Your Thesis Repeatedly 

Before preparing for technical questions in thesis defense it is suggested to study the content of your thesis repeatedly. The process may seem tedious but if you read as many times as you can, to make yourself prepared and ready. This will certainly help because every examiner wants to assess the knowledge of the thesis content that you have prepared.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to memorize it word by word. Try to understand the essential points like- the title of your thesis, what are the variables you used in your research, what are the results of your research, and so on.

Additionally, you can also prepare for alternative questions that your examiners may ask. You can note down questions on the level of simple to complex. This will help you answer unexpected questions during thesis defense.

Get Support From Your Thesis Advisor

One of the best ways of overcoming nerves during thesis defense is by consulting your supervisor or advisor, especially for managing administrative files for trial registration.

Many times it happens to most students that they are stuck or do not understand any particular portion of the thesis, so instead of figuring it out by yourself, it’s best if you ask for help from your advisor.

You can jot down your questions and doubts and clear them out while having a meeting or consultation with your supervisor or advisor.

Additionally, this will also help you to be aligned with your supervisor’s thoughts. Why does it matter?

Because your supervisor will be the examiner in your thesis defense.

Research About Your Examiner

Understanding your examiner’s personality and character is one of the unorthodox yet effective tips to ensure the success of your thesis defense.

Once you get to know the names of your examiners, you must gather as much information about them as possible.

How can you find it?

For example- Your peers might have defended their thesis in front of the same examiners as you have, so you can discuss it with them- What kind of questions do they ask? What was his/her personality? What was his/her nature or character during the thesis session? And what was the professional background of the examiner?

The more information you have on your examiners, the better chance you have of impressing the committee with your thesis defense.

Practice Presenting Your Thesis

You must know that while you defend your thesis you will only have 10-15 min to present your research results. You will not get the time to get into details and at the same time, you are expected to cover the background of your thesis, conclusion, and even suggestion during that short period.

So, you must prepare your presentation with short and crisp slides and also make sure to make small notes in which you can jot down which points you need to explain during the presentation.

Most importantly, it is highly recommended that you do a presentation simulation within the given estimated time above which is 10-15 min either alone or in front of your friend. This will help to mitigate the chances of nervousness, anxiety, confusion, and a feeling of unpreparedness.

Dress Formally

One of the most overlooked yet important factors that you must focus on is to dress formally. Being dressed neatly and formally will create a good impression over your examiners and it shows them that you are ready to deliver your thesis defense. You can consider wearing white shirt, black tie, and trousers to make a good impression on your examiner.

Arrive Early Before The Time

When the day has already come to defend your thesis, it is advised to arrive early. If you arrive at least 30-60 minutes earlier then it will allow you to get used to the room environment and check whether every presentation equipment like- LCD, projector, cables, and plugs is in perfect condition or not to avoid the chances for any technical errors while you are presenting your defense. If there is, an issue then contact any available technician or study program/department officer who can help you with your situation.

Strive To Answer As Much As You Can

After your presentation is over, it will be the time that your examiner will ask various questions related to your thesis and also give feedback in the form of suggestions and questions. While your examiner is asking, questions pay attention and listen closely to their questions to understand them and then answer them.

It may happen that the examiner might have asked a difficult question from you, at that time try to answer it the best you can. You also need to make sure that never provide any arguments that are based on words and without any theoretical basis, your examiners will likely deny it.

Additionally, always pay close attention to your examiner’s input and take note of it. Use all those inputs as guidelines during the revision session.

Do Revision

Once you are done with your thesis defense, don’t think that your job is over. You must immediately start revisioning following the notes and feedback, which you get from your examiners. Revising your thesis content will help you to submit the final copy of your thesis to the library error-free.

Additionally, keep in mind that your examiners give a certain deadline for the revision so make sure to revise within that deadline only.

Preparing Early Is The Key To Defending Your Thesis Successfully

Most of the students stress over the fact that how they going to perform while they have to defend their thesis. However, doing early preparation for delivering your thesis will help you building confidence for thesis defense presentations in front of your examiners. Apply all the above-mentioned eight effective tips for overcoming nerves during thesis defense and are appreciated by your examiners at the same time.

If you’re not just looking to master the arts of defending your thesis but also want to gain highest professional excellence of learning and development in a particular field of work/career then consider pursuing course like Professional Doctorate in Education , where you will get guidance from top expert trainer in every step.