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When studying at university, or any other institution of higher learning, you may well be required to take part in an oral dissertation defence. To give you a better understanding of what will be required for this, the following outlines a step-by-step guide of what to expect.
It is advisable that you regularly attend any defences that are put forward by your colleagues. An oral dissertation defence will normally focus on one person at a time and, by attending those of other people, you can have a better understanding of what to expect when it comes to your turn.
You will generally be required to talk about a certain subject, and maybe even need to prepare a presentation. If you are not used to public speaking then you should pay particular attention to how much time you will be allocated for your defence. You will then need to practice your presentation prior to the day, so as to be prepared for any time limit that you may have. Essentially, you do not want to have your defence overrun or, alternatively, not be sufficiently long.
As mentioned, there is a good chance that you will need to have a presentation prepared, which will most likely require you to use PowerPoint. To accompany any slides that you will have prepared, it is a good idea to have any notes on each section to use as a guide. Furthermore, you may also wish to prepare various handouts to give to anyone that is watching your presentation.
Due to the importance of this piece of work, it can be especially important to have a professional proofreader to check over any written work that you have written in your slides, so as to avoid the embarrassment of including spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Finally, you need to think about any potential questions that members of the audience may ask you, so that you will be prepared to give any answers. By carrying out this preparation, you will feel less stressed when it comes to the question and answer stage, and will be more likely to provide high-quality responses to anything asked of you.