Discussing common writing problems related to PhD thesis writing

Tricks That Helped Me Survive My Dissertation Proposal Defense

A dissertation proposal defense can be extremely stressful for many students, particularly those who dislike public speaking. Essentially, your proposal defense will involve standing up in front of your tutor or professor, as well as any of your classmates who choose to turn up. In fact, many proposal defenses will be open to the public, in which case you may well have to speak in front of a variety of people that you don’t even know.

In order to help you get through the experience, there are a variety of different things you can do in order to calm yourself down to make the process as stress-free as possible. Some suggestions will be outlined below.

Practicing as much as possible

One of the easiest things that you can do to help you get through your proposal defense is to practice as much as possible. Essentially, if you are as prepared as possible, then it will make it much easier to recite what you need to say. Furthermore, it can help to make you less stressed and, in fact, if you practice in front of other people, then it can help make the whole process a great deal easier to cope with.

Preparing any additional materials to hand out

Whilst not a necessity, it is still sometimes beneficial to prepare a range of different handouts that you can give to any members of the audience. For example, if there are any necessary details that you wish to provide to audience members that you do not necessarily include on any slides then it is a good idea to include them in handouts.

Preparing for any questions that you might be asked

Once you have given your presentation, there is a good chance that you will be asked questions by those who are reviewing your work, as well as any members of the audience. As a result, it is particularly important that you try to predict any potential questions that you could be asked, so that you can prepare any answers in advance. This will help you from being flustered when the questions are asked, and will instead prepare you to give a good solid answer. In fact, this is particularly important for anyone who is likely to suffer from nerves, as it helps to reduce the stress that will otherwise be caused from being caught unawares by any difficult questions.

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