You have spent so many time to finish your dissertation, and now time has come to defend your proposal in front of your audience. You deserve to be successful, so follow our tips for dissertation proposal defense presentation writing. While working on your dissertation, you certainly communicated with your supervisor. You also discussed your dissertation presentation ideas with fellow students. It is a natural process, because dissertation writing is all about communication and information exchange. Still, the process of defending your dissertation proposal is where you will stand alone, face to face with the supervising committee and your fellow companions. It is to face the reality – you are ready to defend your proposal, and you can do it brilliantly.
PowerPoint Presentation for Dissertation Defense
Basically, you will have to design a PowerPoint presentation. You will have to include the most important information from your proposal to defend it in front of your audience. Remember that a PowerPoint presentation that is not formatted properly can distort an impression from the best and most perfectly designed dissertation. It is a moment of truth for you, so take it seriously.
Your defense presentation will usually last 10 minutes. Your presentation will include 8-10 slides. Each slide will be devoted to each major section of your dissertation proposal. These include but are not limited to:
- Problem and background
- Review of literature
- Study purpose and intent
- Research questions and hypotheses
- Method and sample
- Data collection procedures
- Data analysis procedures
- Expected results or actual findings
- Implications for future research and practice
- Other slides (if necessary)
- References (if required)
Choosing the Font
Do not forget that your defense presentation must be very accurate and well designed. It must look pleasant to the eye. So, you will need to spend some time choosing the most appropriate font. Most likely, you will focus on the most classical fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial. Readability is everything. Choose a font that is easy to read. Do not use Comic Sans in your presentation. It is neither appropriate nor academically sound.
Choosing Word Density
Another thing that you must remember is that you should not include too many words per slide. Do not overload your presentation with unnecessary writing! Do not try to squeeze your entire dissertation into 10 slides! The whole point about making a defense presentation is presenting a brief and succinct argument. Choose the most valuable information and make each slide informative. Use bullet points. Include images and graphics to make your presentation engaging for the audience.
Uniformity Is a Key to Success
Your dissertation proposal defense will become a winning experience for you and your audience if you strive for uniformity. It means that you will use the same font and background throughout the entire presentation. It is not an animation competition. You will not look or sound better if you use all types of fonts available. Make it look formal and academic. Do not distract the attention of your audience from what you are going to say.
You Can Use Your Gadgets
Technologies certainly benefit students. They make the whole process of defending a dissertation proposal much easier. The use of gadgets is one of the main dissertation defense tips for learners. However, make sure that you are familiar with the gadget that you plan to use for your dissertation defense presentation. Otherwise, you will fail to deliver a smooth speech and will constantly interrupt yourself trying to manage your PowerPoint slides.
Now it is time to consider the main components of a dissertation proposal defense presentation. These include preparation, presentation itself, and a follow-up. Review the comments below to go through each stage without difficulty.
- Be wise and try to be present during the dissertation proposal defense presentations of your fellow students.
- Follow the rules and policies for dissertation proposal defense activities in your academic institution.
- Do not be in a hurry; start preparing your dissertation proposal defense presentation early.
- Write a manuscript of your dissertation proposal speech gradually, step by step. Check grammar and spelling. Avoid any mistakes.
- Ask someone to review the manuscript before you translate it into a presentation. Check if you have followed all formatting and grading requirements of your department.
- You will have to attend several pre-defense meetings with your supervisor. Never miss them! Never lose a chance to discuss your presentation and speech with the supervisor and other students.
- Make sure that you have all materials ready for your presentation. Do not forget anything and do not try to catch up on the day the presentation is scheduled.
- Each defense meeting will begin with the chair or supervisor delivering informative comments about each presentation and proposal. Most likely, there are still some things that you will need to do to finalize your project and make it ready for the presentation.
- In your presentation, be ready to cover the most important components of your proposal such as research questions and hypotheses, design and method, rationale for choosing the method, as well as data collection, analysis, and study findings.
- Be ready to answer questions. Anyone sitting in the audience may want to ask questions about your study.
- More often than not, faculty members ask students about the main limitations of the study and how they plan to address them.
- Then you will have to leave the room. In the meantime, the audience and the committee will evaluate your work and make a decision about your grade.
- Of course, the best that you can accomplish during the presentation is earning a passing grade. This will be the final point of your studies!
- Now you can organize a small party for your family and friends. Share your success with others but do not violate the academic policy of your institution.
- Then you will have to consider the recommendations provided by the committee to improve your dissertation (if any).
- You will also need to make formal copies of your dissertation proposal and submit them to the department, to the supervisor, to the faculty, to the responsible committee, and so on. Usually, more than one copy is needed to meet the academic and institutional requirements. You may also need to submit your manuscript to a publishing authority.
Thesis Defense Presentation Tips
- Practice is everything!
You can create the best PowerPoint presentation, but you will never deliver a perfect speech if you fail to practice. When it comes to speech writing and public speaking, practice is above everything else. Read your speech and presentation notes over and over again. Imagine that you are standing in front of your audience, and you must speak professionally while managing your PowerPoint slides. Do not expect that everyone will sit quietly and listen to you. All kinds of noise can interfere with your speech. You will have to remain consistent and focused on your message. Do not allow others to interrupt you easily. Keep delivering your speech against all odds!
- Do not delay your preparation until the last hour!
Make sure that there is someone who can read and review your presentation long before it is due. You can ask anyone, from your family members to fellow students, to cast a critical eye on what you wrote. Besides, you must have enough time to brainstorm and incorporate the most important insights from your dissertation into your presentation and speech. You cannot be in a hurry. It is simply impermissible! You must have enough time to review each and every word of your presentation. Your audience expects that you will be professional and will not make any mistakes. So, whenever you have time, get back to your speech and presentation, identify gaps and missing information, rearrange the order of words and sentences to make the whole piece more logical and appealing to your audience.
- Visit the room for your speech at least once.
The importance of your dissertation proposal defense speech is certainly unquestionable. It can have profound effects on your future career. Therefore, you must be sure that it will be perfect. For this reason, make sure that you visit the room where you will deliver your speech at least once before the presentation. Look around. Try to imagine where the members of the dissertation committee will sit. Look at the equipment that you will be using during the presentation. Try it out. Do you see any problems? Is there anything that you need to learn before the day of the presentation? Try to talk. Can you hear your voice? Do you need to be louder so that everyone else can hear you? These are important questions, and you are in a position to find answers before it is too late.
- You should be comfortable and confident that you know everything.
You can know your subject inside out, but if you are not confident that you can deliver a perfect speech, you will certainly fail this task. You must first be comfortable with the thought that you will deliver a speech in front of an audience and that you will have to defend your dissertation proposal in front of a chair and a committee. Remember that your audience can literally smell your sense of fear and lack of confidence. Whenever you are not certain about what you are saying, it is a reason not to give you a passing grade. Of course, you do not need to ask self-confidently in every situation. After all, you are not a Nobel Prize winner. However, you must give the committee members a sense of certainty that you know your subject pretty well.
- Humility can save you
You must be humble and show humility in every aspect of the process. Remember that no one is perfect, and you are not an exception to this rule. Your dissertation may signify a scientific breakthrough, but it is not a reason to be self-confident or glorify yourself. You will still have questions without answers, and your study will still have methodological limitations. So, if you are asked a question that does not have an immediate answer, do not be afraid to admit that. Use your logic and provide a rationale for your answer. Do not be afraid of looking stupid. You will look much more stupid if you try to invent the bicycle. Do not provide false information. Your professors will easily catch you if you make something up to invent an answer. If you say that you do not know something but you are ready to take some time and find an answer, it will be your victory on all sides!
Now you are ready to dress for one of the most responsible and impressive events in your whole life. It is your moment of truth!