Preparing for a Viva Voce and Presenting Your Thesis Paper/ Dissertation

The Latin term “viva voce” refers to an oral examination which is held specifically for further clarification of thesis paper/dissertation. So, what are the processes of presenting the dissertation, preparing for a viva?

Moreover, what are the marking schemes, how to avoid grammatical mistakes and plagiarism alike? You can learn the common mistakes made by students at each step of thesis writing and viva presentation.

Presenting the Thesis

Basically, students fail to operate the presentation equipments due to their unfamiliarity with the tools. In fact, some universities require students to use a projector for presenting their thesis. In this case, students need to have technical knowledge of those tools by repeatedly handling them.

One of the biggest common problems is that some students skip their introduction and forget to thank the audience for attending. As a matter of fact, avoiding such mistakes shows your formality and politeness. Hence, your introduction is expected before the title of your presentation.

Likewise, students often fail to complete their presentation within the allocated time. If they lack confidence in their work, they often rush the presentation and end up giving unnecessary focus on some sections and missing other important points. Thus, rehearsal of presentation can be helpful for managing to address all issues within the limited time.

As a student, you have to give a structured presentation. For example, when you are using a projector, you have to organize the slides. In the first slide, it is best to give your introduction and the topic of your presentation. Following that, you can show the chronological order of subtitles on which basis you can proceed with your real presentation.
In the very beginning, you are supposed to tell the audience what you are going to talk about and at which level.

It is a bad idea to fill a slide with large amounts of texts because it will not be a good scene to look at. Moreover, if you keep reading the text in the slide, you will not be able to face the audience and even the audience will lose their patience. Instead, you can make the slide aesthetically appealing by creating bullet points and avoiding text overload.

Even if you are not using a projector, it is a bad idea to read from your notes and avoid your audience. Reading whatever you have written is not what viva voce expects of you. It rather requires you to show the compatibility between your dissertation and what is in your mind.

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You never know when your examiners ask you questions. Hence, while preparing for your viva, you have to anticipate queries and be prepared to answer them accordingly.

Preparing for a Viva

Since you are going to face an examiner during the viva, you have to find out who is going to examine you beforehand. If they are your teachers it might be relatively easier for you but if they are strangers you have to do some research about them prior to facing them. If you get certain ideas on your examiner’s views on your research area you can face them more confidently and live up to their expectation.

Extensively practicing your viva presentation will pay you off. For that, you have to summarize each section of your thesis on different pieces of paper and revise them as many times as possible.

You have to be very much familiar with whom you have cited in your dissertation. Otherwise, you will end up fumbling and blushing during the viva.

Anticipate questions and prepare your answers. If you have genuinely written your thesis and if you have practiced summarizing it, you will not have any difficulty while answering. In fact, you should always keep in mind that your examiners are interested to know more about how you succeeded in writing the thesis. Therefore, you should be an expert in your dissertation. For example, they might ask you what inspired you to do research on the topic of your research topic.

John Biggam says that patience is a virtue, especially during a viva. It is not a good thing to interrupt your examiner. Instead, you have to write down the questions they ask and take your time to answer them. You should neither be imposing nor hesitant to answer.

Even after you are through the thesis presentation, you need to acknowledge the audience’s presence and the examiner’s concern.

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