Dissertation Defense Tips: How to Stay Confident


Your dissertation is almost done and the time of the defense is coming. Everything seems perfect and you are 100% sure of your work. Suddenly you realize that the thought of standing in front of the committee makes your blood run cold.

If that is so, the following tips will help you restore your confidence:

  1. Focus on the purpose.
  2. You have spent so much effort and time on your dissertation. The only thing left is to go through the procedure and finally obtain your degree. Don’t make all that sleepless nights and missed dates go to waste.

  3. Consult with your adviser.
  4. This is the right person who understands the difference between a great and poor defense presentation. Don’t be shy to ask questions and listen attentively to his or her pieces of advice.

  5. Gain the insight of what you are going to face.
  6. Get in touch with people who have already been through with their dissertation defense. Besides try to visit a couple of the defenses if possible. You will see it with your own eyes and it may help you to overcome your fears.

  7. Prepare thoroughly.
  8. Write your defense speech in advance. Read it aloud several times. You should sound competent and confident. Think of possible questions you may be asked and try to answer them. Don’t forget about tricky ones like “Why do you think your topic is important?” Moreover, practice your presentation with your friends.

  9. Use mirror.
  10. Repeat your speech looking at yourself in the mirror. If you want to make a good impression you need to learn how to control your gestures and facial expressions while speaking.

  11. Look appropriately.
  12. Think of every detail beforehand. Wear business clothing but note that it should be comfortable. Make sure that everything is fine. At the defense you ought to think of your work and not of your tight shoes.

  13. Meditate.
  14. Maybe all you need is just to relax. Lay down on the couch. Switch on light music and clear your mind. As soon as you get control of your thoughts and emotions you will become more reasonable and confident.

  15. Remember, you are capable of doing this.
  16. You have come a long way. Years of studying, tons of time spent researching your topic and then writing, revising and proofreading your dissertation have prepared you to this final and extremely important moment. Besides it can be possible that you have much deeper knowledge of the topic than they have.

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