Preparing To A Master Thesis Defense: 5 Things You Should Pay Attention To
The defense of your Master’s thesis can be nerve-wracking, and rightfully so. It is considered by some to be the most critical step of the process towards your thesis.
But do not allow it to get to in your head too much. See it as an opportunity to gain momentum and confidence.
Play it to your advantage
- The defense gives you insight on several levels.
- Here is your chance to showcase your research and progress with a decidedly “home-field advantage” feel to it.
- It is also a friendly environment, consisting of friends, colleagues, and members of your thesis committee.
As you know, the thesis defense consists of two parts: the first is your presentation of research and findings, followed by an opportunity for your thesis defense committee to ask you questions
Let’s break it down a bit further.
Thesis defense presentation
- This is a roughly thirty minute summary of the results of your research and what you have found.
- It should include the goals you have set forth.
- How you have constructed it, including your methodology, data, and recommendations.
- Do yourself a favor and do a few run-throughs prior to the presentation at your house.
Granted, you are presenting your thesis defense in front of those who are probably best-suited to understand why everyone in that room is in that room, but don’t make assumptions.
Showcase, don’t showboat
- Be careful as you present your defense. Patience and understanding will pay off further on. Do not come across as being more pleased with yourself than others should be.
- This will prevent confusion and may even help you avoid a few questions from your committee by showing them the grasp you hold on your thesis.
- Also, show, don’t tell. The slides you present need to keep the flow of your presentation and not have you reaching back to clarify a point and therefore disrupt your ability to move forward.
The question period of your defense can be a test your intestinal fortitude.
Do not let it make or break you
- Troubleshoot prior to now. Forecast some questions or potential weaknesses others may point out.
- Record what you are being asked. Seeing the question in front of you will help you prepare a better answer.
If you have prepared for your Master’s thesis defense properly, you can consider your work done, but there are always other things that can go wrong.
- Make sure the powers that be are aware of your request for a certain room at a certain time.
- Have printouts for those attending.
- Review your presentation one last time.