Dissertation presentation is the most stressful thing you will have to endure during your whole studies. If you think that the final exam week was stressful, wait till you see what it means to spend months on preparing a paper the size of a book shat you have to defend in just 15 minutes.
Here is some solid advice how to prepare for your thesis defense.
Make it interesting
For good presentation you will need some interesting slides, and you will need a lot of time to make them. Don’t underestimate the importance of good presentation, because you have to face the fact that many of your audience didn’t actually read your dissertation. They would like to know only the core information, most interesting facts and conclusion. In order to make them understand your thesis, you have to make simple, yet interesting slides that present only the key information from your dissertation.
Take your time
You will probably need a solid week or even more to complete them. Don’t think it’s something you should be doing on the last night before the morning of the presentation. Try to use as many interesting pictures and tables, and also use some editing tools in order to make it look professional. It is better to have many slides with less text on them.
If you are a bad public speaker or you get nervous easily, it is wise to practice several times before you actually give your presentation. The more you go over it, more you will feel in control, and the fear will weaken. Start with presenting your paper to yourself, in front of a mirror. Then upgrade your audience, presenting your thesis to your parents, or siblings. After that comes the real challenge: to present your work in front of your friends, but also people that you don’t know too well. If you are able to do that, you are fully ready to present your dissertation.
Sleep and eat well
It sounds like a basic thing, but many students are so stressed out while they are preparing their thesis that they would forget to breathe if that would be possible. It is important to have a good, long sleep before you give your dissertation presentation. You shouldn’t go out or drink any alcohol the night before the big day, and you should be careful what you eat.
You can practice for months, and there is still a chance you will choke and forget what to say in the middle of the presentation. In that case it is wise to have notes, to help you out in the moment if low concentration.