How To Prepare For Your PhD Thesis Defense: Professional Hints

Your thesis defense can be an incredible stressful process, one which you may be unprepared to face. But just because you're unprepared does not mean that you have to face it alone. The thesis defense is an opportunity for you to stand before a group and showcase how much you know about your project and defend every aspect of your project. Do not let this task frighten you. There are a few things you should remember.

  • The first thing you want to remember is that you are not the first person to go through this. Everyone has to do this including the people who were on your panel evaluating you. Not only are you on stage, acting out a performance so to speak, but so are they. They are being judged just as much as you are. They know what the process is like from your perspective and they are not there to cause you a great deal of harm or embarrass you. They were probably just as nervous as you are when they stood in your shoes.
  • Another thing to remember is that it is okay to not know an answer. It is better to not know answer and admit that rather than try and stumble through a fake explanation that you come up with on the spot, which always result in babbling. You want to work hard on your project but you have to except that the matter how hard you work on your thesis you will not know everything. You might know a great deal about your particular thesis and topic, but if they ask you a question that is outside of your periphery just tell them that you don't know. It is much better for you to simply state upfront that you do not know the answer that it is for you to try and fumble through a fake answer.
  • On that note remember you have lived and breathed your thesis for a long time. You are an expert. You need to have faith in yourself and the knowledge that you have. Recognizing that you are an expert on this topic will give you the confidence that you need to take a deep breath and answer all the questions that they have for you in a formal and upfront fashion. Doing this will help you to succeed in your defense.