Best Tips for Successful Dissertation Proposal Defense

Getting prepared for your dissertation proposal defense is tough. The more the time gets closer to it, the more nervous you feel. Even a brilliant student has to look for some tactics to cover their weaknesses and shine brightly in the defense. The tough part of defense is taking questions from the committee. As long as they ask questions, the more you have to stand in the room.

But now it isn’t time to stress. It’s time to show them your strengths, confidence and prove to them that you are good enough just as other people are. Here are some tips and tricks that will help in your dissertation proposal defense, so you don’t have to face any problems.

1. Predict their questions

While preparing for proposal defense, you will also come across a lot of questions that need to be answered. Prepare those questions and also anticipate what questions will come from the committee’s side. Think from their perspective and prepared it in advance. This will help you to look confident while answering the questions

2. Cover your weak areas

Many people have weaknesses in defense such as in covering literature study, no confidence, and much more. Practice your presentation in front of your supervisor, friends, and mentors. Ask them your weak point and how to cover them up. Analyze your words, slides, and material critically. Once you are aware of your weak areas, you will figure out how to handle them in dissertation defense as well.

3. Stick to your practice

Practice as hard as you can at your home, in front of peers and you can ask any person who has been a member of the committee. They will provide you valuable feedback and boost your morale. Also, guide you to different types of questions that the committee can ask you.

4. Avoid repetition in your slides

The easier slides you make, the easier for the audience to understand. Don’t repeat anything in the slides and keep it as simple as you can. If you repeat or even add any complicated terminologies, then the attention will divert from you and the committee will miss questions that you have already answered.

5. Use words easy to understand

Several people make mistakes while pronouncing words properly. It happens because they don’t get the chance to pronounce it correctly before the defense. So, use comprehensible words and avoid complicated words that not only hard to understand but also low down your confidence.

6. Watch your senior’s defense

Various departments have recordings of doctoral student’s defense. Watch those recordings and try to learn from them. It is better to attend the defense of your seniors or you can attend defense at other departments. The key point is here to prepare yourself for this stage see how the person handles to control the situation.

7. Have a positive attitude

Having a positive attitude towards your committee is a way to pass this defense. The committee has already decided to pass all you need is to show yourself that you are worthy of it. Give relevant answers to the committee.

8. Keep track of time

During the presentation, time is important. Consult the committee member and ask them about time. If they say about 20 minutes then it is important to wind up your presentation within this time. If you take longer than that, then they will think of it as a wastage of time.

9. Communicate your committee effectively

It is always better to hand out a presentation copy to your committee member before the defense. This will become handy and make things easier for the committee. Also, keep things smooth between you and the committee members. If they disagree with someone, then engage them in a discussion and tell them why you choose this path. They will be impressed by your critical thinking.

10. Stay relaxed

People are stressed out by seeing the committee members and doubts come into their minds if they can do it or not. Take a deep breath and give time to yourself. Give the committee some time to understand what you are saying. More importantly, have proper sleep before the defense. Let yourself control the flow of presentations and questions. Good luck!!

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