BINUS Business School

Tips to Look Nervous-Free in Your Thesis Defense Presentation

At the end of the course, students will present their thesis defense in front of the faculty committee and some audience members. Sure, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little stressed, anxious, or even nervous before and during the presentation. But still, you must be able to present your scientific work thoroughly to get a maximum appraisal. Therefore, to prevent you from messing up your thesis defense presentation, please keep these useful tips in mind!

  1. Learn by watching other thesis defense presentations

If you have the opportunity to sit in a defense, do not miss it. By coming to other defenses, you can learn about its environment, atmosphere, and content. You can learn what mistakes are usually made in defense, so you could find ways to avoid them in yours. Also, this could be a great way to build connections with other academics, which may help prepare your future presentations in front of the faculty thesis committee.

  1. Keep practicing!

Practice, practice, and practice! To deliver your presentation confidently, keep practicing until you feel you have completely mastered the material by rote. Rehearse your presentation, either alone or in front of your friends, to make you master the content thoroughly. Also, keep in mind that a good presenter doesn’t depend entirely on the slides. A good one must maintain strong communication with the audience and only utilize slides as a road map in building the conversation.

  1. Get more feedback to perfect your presentation 

Getting more feedback is another solution to make you deliver a nervous-free presentation in front of a panel of professors in your study program. Therefore, try to share your defense slides file with some close colleagues and then ask for their feedback. You may also do it with friends from the same major or not. The essence here is that they can see how good the content you are going to deliver, and in most cases, other people could notice the flaws in our presentation more clearly.

  1. Do something that makes you feel more relaxed

Have you ever heard that Michael Jordan took a nap to make himself more prepared and relaxed for the upcoming match? Abraham Lincoln did the same thing as well. So, the point here is to do something that would make you feel calmer, more focused, and relaxed. Preparing a thesis defense could be emotional and energy-draining, but do not let that uncomfortable feeling swing your concentration. In light of this, try to find something that makes you feel relaxed before undergoing this “fight”. Everyone will have a different way, so it’s best to find the one which fits you.

  1. Knowledge is your power

One of the basic reasons someone is so stressed and nervous when facing a thesis defense is that they do not really master the content of their presentation. This is why we state that knowledge is your power. The more you master your material, the more proficient and confident you will deal with the defense presentation. Furthermore, it would be better if the knowledge here is not just about the material you will present in your defense. Try expanding it a little, just in case you receive questions beyond your content, or it could be a great way to highlight your confidence.

  1. Keep your slides simple

To tell the truth, the committees may not care about your slides. On the contrary, they are more interested in how you argue about the contents of your thesis. Accordingly, make your audience listen more than read the slides. Try to create slides with less text and choose a simpler template, too!

Pay attention to the tips above to make your thesis defense go smoothly! In addition, dress well and arrive early to avoid the nervousness caused by being late. If you prepare enough, you must get through it perfectly!