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Thesis Presentation


One may make a thesis presentation as part of one's thesis defense or as a separate educational service to an interested group of people. For example, at times students may make thesis presentations to broader audiences than solely the defense panel if their work has been exceptionally enlightening to the field.

Students who are making thesis presentations will already have a formidable knowledge base in that subject area by virtue of having researched it extensively, but they may have a smoother presentation experience if they study ahead of time. By studying and preparing thoroughly, students can avoid thesis presentation anxiety as much as possible.

First, students should reread their theses and should highlight points to make in the presentation. Because theses are usually quite lengthy in comparison to the period of time allotted for the presentation, students may have to limit themselves to discussing the topic in broad strokes. The student who has to fit a thesis presentation into a very specific time frame should practice reading the selected material aloud and with expression, eliminating material as necessary in order to meet the time requirements. The student should choose to eliminate too much material rather than not enough material, because in general the thesis presentation will take slightly longer than anticipated.

Second, students whose thesis presentations include a question and answer portion should reread the major research sources that contributed to the thesis. Rereading those sources will help students remember other perspectives and pieces of information that the thesis did not pursue but that audience members may wish to discuss.

Third, students should decide whether or not to include a Power Point slide show. Students who choose to use Power Point should avoid using informal features in their slides, such as unusual color combinations or strange animation. Power Point slide shows that are overly visually stimulating often detract from the speaker's message; therefore, in an academic setting, slides that use neutral color combinations and straightforward, easy-to-read animation schemes are usually the most effective.


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