A thesis defence is a situation of oral examination where the scholar is expected to justify his thesis and research in the presence of a panel of experts. It indeed is the final and the most important part of the PhD journey that a scholar goes through?
There is a lot of preparation that would go in getting ready to face your oral defence successfully:
Know your subject well: First and foremost, you must be an expert in the area of your research. The questions could be from outside your thesis topic but from the area of your research. You must ensure not to give a negative response to your examiners, even if you don’t know the exact answer, give whatever logic you think fits the best in the situation.
Have good knowledge of your audience: Before the starting of the session it is always better to gaze through who is going to be the audience for your answers. When I say that, I mean whether would you have a mixed discipline of experts or all would be from the same field. For a multi-disciplinary panel, you need to be prepared to keep them in the loop of your answers, lest they feel left out.
Topic of your thesis: Though at a later stage of your research, there is not much you can do with your topic if it isn’t the best it could be but having an interesting topic is always an advantage. A thought provoking and eye catching topic is always a way to get an advantage and superiority in the eyes of the examiners.
Justify your topic well: Not being prepared to justify your topic can be a blunder in the eyes of the researcher. A question related to justification of the paper is the most important question that will be asked in the viva, and you must be able to percolate the importance of your topic down to others in a way that it appears interesting to them.
Practice well: A PPT is important for a PhD VIVA. You must have the key points on a slide show and explain each and every point on the slides. To ensure that you do a holistic coverage of the topic, you must practice your presentation as many times as you can. This will give confidence and keep you ready for all kinds of questions.