How to Start a Thesis Defense Presentation
After months and years of hard work, the moment to wrap things all up is finally here—your thesis defense presentation.
Whether you’re pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate, it’s the final step to that much-deserved achievement.
A thesis defense requires a lot of prior research and preparation. And as important as its content is, so is how you present it because a stunning design with clear data and text hierarchy plays an immense role in comprehension.
In this article, we’ll explore how you make your thesis defense.
The organization is the key to success. Establishing some previous steps before any project or work is essential for the result to be very positive. And the defense of a thesis could not be less.
Below, we will develop all the necessary steps to make a thesis defense presentation and we will give you some tips on how to carry them out.
How to Make an Amazing Presentation
After a long time of research and study, the content of your thesis is ready. Now, you have to find the best way to reflect all that effort behind your work. The information comes across more clearly if you use a visual format, as it attracts the attention of the audience. To present your thesis information in a clear, concise, and ultimately amazing way, you can use one of our unique thesis defense templates, available at Slidesgo.
As an example, in this article, we are going to use the Ecology Thesis template. With it, we will show you what to include in your presentation and how to make an attractive design.
Defining the Concept of Your Thesis Presentation
After choosing the Google Slides and PowerPoint template that best suits the needs and subject matter of your thesis, it is time to define an overarching concept.
This is the main theme on which your designs are based. It must be relevant to your thesis as its purpose is to guide your selection of colors, typography, images, style, etc.
These must be portrayed in a way that supports the main message of your slides and should be aligned with your concept both visually and sociologically.
Structuring Your Thesis Defense Presentation
Once you have defined the concept, you will have to move on to the next step: structuring the content of your thesis. A good structure will show that there is a good organization behind the work, but most importantly: it will highlight your content.
In this article, we are going to show you a structure that could be a good example of how to structure a thesis, but you can adapt it to what your specific content requires.
How Do You Welcome the Audience
Before you begin your thesis defense, you should welcome your audience. A good presentation will make you connect with your audience, which will result in more general interest in your work.
Use an appropriate language register (avoid informal language), but be approachable and natural.
"Welcome to the thesis defense on [the title of your thesis]". Next, introduce yourself with your name and give a short description of your background and occupation.
Don't forget to say “thank you for attending!”
Tell Them Why You Did This Thesis
To continue establishing that connection with your audience, explain the reasons that led you to do this thesis. Tell the professional reasons, and you can even say some personal ones, which will denote closeness, and your audience will appreciate it.
Go into the Content by Explaining Your Thesis Part by Part
Now it's time to go into the content of the thesis! After these preliminary steps, which are just as important as the thesis itself, it is time to explain part by part the structure (which you had previously established). We are going to propose a structure for your project, but the final decision is always yours!
First impressions are very important. Because your title page is the very first thing viewers see, it must be striking and impactful. It also sets the stage for the rest of your slides.
In one glance, the following should be established:
- Thesis defense topic
- Design style
For instance, the ecology thesis’s title page uses illustrations of a natural landscape to represent the topic of nature and a striking shade of blue to set the tone.
The sans serif font used depicts clean-cut typography and style and the thesis topic is written in large and bold typography, which draws attention to it immediately.
Right after your title page, include an introduction slide to provide more details about your topic.
This means explaining what you hope to answer with your research, its importance to your field, and why you chose it.
Continue to incorporate design elements relevant to your concept. This example has done just that by using a different natural landscape and including animals. For coherence, stick to the same typography and style throughout your presentation.
The aim of the literature review slide is to illustrate your knowledge of your thesis topic and any relevant theories.
Walls of text kill a design. For clarity, we recommend presenting this with bullet points. Each one should be short and sweet and only touch on the basics; you can elaborate on them in your speech.
Don’t forget to be consistent with your design. In our example, we’ve maintained the tone of blue chosen and added illustrations of leaves in the far corners of the slide.
Also, address similar research that has been done. This is to showcase your topic’s originality and, if relevant, how it’s different and/or an improvement from previously done research.
This is one of the most important parts of a thesis defense presentation.
It allows your viewers to assess the rationality and validity of your approach and consequently, the accuracy of your results.
A great methodology slide explains the what, how, and why:
- What method did you use for your research
- Why did you choose it
- How did you conduct it
Because this part of your thesis will be rather technical, the most effective way to aid understanding is by using graphics like charts and tables.
Keep text to a minimum to avoid drawing attention away from the graphics. If there is a text that must absolutely be included, consider using bullet points and keep them short.
Don’t forget to maintain color, style, and typography coherence.
The results slides are easily the most quantitative part of a thesis defense.
Here, your aim is to simply introduce your findings. Select the most impactful data and highlight them here.
Just as with methodology, use graphics like charts, tables, and graphs to portray the data in a clear way. And, once again, try not to write too much text. Let the visual content do the talking.
After you’ve introduced your data, the next step would be to help your audience make sense of it. That means understanding what it means in the context of your thesis research topic and your discipline.
Simply put, you should answer the question: What do the numbers mean?
The best way to approach this would be to do it as if you were creating an infographic.
Illustrations like icons are a quick and simple way to represent your message. It also reduces the amount of text on your slide, which makes the information much more digestible.
For a balanced thesis presentation, you should also address any outliers and anomalies.
How to End the Defense of the Thesis
To quote bestselling author Robin Sharma, “Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic.”
That’s exactly what to aim for in your conclusion.
Provide an overview of your thesis topic and remind your audience what you set out to answer with your research. In our example, we’ve used three icons accompanied by a short title and text.
Following that, reiterate the important points of your research results you want your audience to take away from your thesis defense presentation.
You can do so by expanding the next slide to have more icons and points, for example.
Don’t forget to address any shortcomings and limitations in your approach and extra points for suggesting possible improvements for future research.
We are going to give you a little tip to make your thesis defense a success. You can combine your defense with good public speaking techniques. Take a look at our article "How to become a great speaker".
We hope this article has been of great help, have you already seen our templates to make the presentation of your thesis? Choose the one that best suits your needs, we are sure that one of them will go perfectly with your thesis presentation!
Good luck from Slidesgo.
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