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I have found that most questions asked at thesis defenses are “big picture” questions; it doesn’t make sense to scrutinize small points anymore.
Again, the thesis defense is a celebratory occasion, so no one is going to mind a joke or two during the talk.
For example, any difficulties that you encountered in your research can be introduced with a dash of humor.
If you are super adventurous, try using Prezi, a very appealing alternative to Power Point.
It will also be helpful to provide a flowchart at the beginning of the talk to outline which topics you will discuss, roughly how long you will discuss each topic, and any topics that you won’t have time to talk about.
The dissertation defense comes after the long and laborious work of writing the dissertation and can be the source of anxiety for the student.
Here are some tips to quell the anxiety and make the process run smoothly. First, half-forgotten references and lab work will be fresh in your mind, instead of buried somewhere in a few hundred pages of print.
it should be different from a departmental research in progress talk.
The introduction is especially important so that you don’t lose people right from the beginning.
Additionally, if you are doing a postdoc after your Ph D, feel free to mention how your postdoc research relates to your Ph D work and why you decided to do this type of research.
For all the comedians out there, now is the time to exercise your skills!