10 things to avoid during Defence -Seminar, Thesis Proposal and external presentation

In the majority of schools, students are required to defend their seminar or thesis proposal. This may continue up to an hour at times. In some respects, the seminar or thesis proposal defence resembles an examination. However, the primary distinction is that the applicant is often more knowledgeable about the subject than the examiners.

10 things to avoid during Defence -Seminar, Thesis Proposal and external presentation

Certain inquiries will be genuine: the interviewer will admit ignorance and anticipates that the applicant will be able to remedy the situation. If a questioner raises a point during the defence that casts doubt on something in the research, the first thing to do is to admit that the question imposes a significant constraint on the applicability of the term, “well, you have identified a significant constraint on this technique, and the results must be interpreted in light of that observation.”

10 things to avoid during Defence -Seminar, Thesis Proposal and external presentation

The questioner is, therefore, more inclined to back off and even assist with the response, while a straightforward rejection may encourage him/her to pursue more zealously. The researcher should go through the argument in depth – demonstrating to listeners how serious it is while also allowing oneself time to identify faults or mitigate the resulting harm.

It is very usual for a panel to ask one (or more) questions that, regardless of their exact phrasing, are basically an invitation to the author to explain (briefly) what is significant, novel, and compelling about their argument.

At this point, one should avoid stumbling. The author should be able to defend his or her work and be willing to answer further questions if asked. The defender should constantly maintain his or her composure.

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There is no universally accepted technique for conducting oral examinations. It varies according to the institution. However, there are two main kinds of oral defence: committee defence (closed) and public defence (open).

Things to Avoid During Defence and Presentations

As is customary, one will begin in a condition of anxiety. However, with adequate and good preparation, the final oral defence poses little danger. When the chair asks the candidate to deliver the work, behave as though it were an academic paper. Avoid utilizing notes wherever feasible.

Begin by describing how and why an individual gets interested in the issue. Briefly discuss the issue as envisioned. Reexamine the methods used.

Concentrate mostly on the findings’ substance. Take no more than 30 minutes; else, 20 minutes is plenty. When one is through, the chair returns to the floor, leaving the floor free for the audience to respond.

10 things to avoid during Defence -Seminar, Thesis Proposal and external presentation

One should react in a manner that demonstrates readiness to join the community of academics. This implies that one is knowledgeable, eloquent, appropriately modest in the face of one’s elders, yet quietly confident. Pay close attention to each question; if one is unclear, rephrase it or request clarification before responding. As a scholar of great integrity, the following characteristics are expected:

  1. Avoid being defensive: if a question seems to be a disguised assault, avoid counter-attacking.
  2. Avoid making excuses or apologizing for yourself: if someone points out a severe issue, listen attentively, recognize the validity of the observation, and express gratitude for the assistance.
  3. Avoid blaming your supervisor: it is possible that your supervisor gave you poor advice, but now is not the time to bring it up. It is one’s thesis; one must take responsibility for it.
  4. Avoid exaggerating one’s argument or claim: even if one has made a significant contribution to the area, let others speak for you.
  5. Maturity encourages applicants to complete their own work, take responsibility for all aspects of the research, keep the commitments made throughout the proposal process, and conduct themselves ethically and professionally with colleagues and professors.
  6. In most instances, a candidate’s extensive understanding of a highly specific subject field translates into the candidate possessing the most expert knowledge in the seminar room; nevertheless, there is no excuse to flaunt that expertise; such conduct is needless and counterproductive.
  7. During the defence, one’s duty is to answer probing inquiries about the study; one will not have the answers to all queries. If one does not, state “I’m not sure.” Avoid attempting to bluff one’s way through a defence. One will only lose if one attempts to appear to know when one does not.
  8. Provide succinct, precise, and correct responses where appropriate: address the questions first, then expand more if necessary. Avoid rambling, but also avoid being overly short. Following the response, one may inquire, “Does this solve your question, sir/madam?” Or do you want for me to elaborate?”
  9. Avoid losing one’s posture throughout the defence; certain members of the committee or audience may purposefully attempt to annoy one; avoid becoming upset. When one is angry, one cannot think clearly, therefore one must maintain as much calm as possible. Exercise patience and self-control.
  10. When asked for an opinion and having one, express oneself: at this stage in one’s master’s or doctorate program, one should have formed an opinion for oneself. You should not be scared to express them. Even if one believes that members of the committee are diametrically opposed to you.


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