Imagine yourself in a defence room where you are defending your I.T, seminar and project in such a fabulous way, and your panel members just can’t stop nodding, gazing at you with their mouths wide open and can’t even stop their own hands from clapping…hey! remeber it is an imagination, so snap out of it! Put more work to it by reading this article, apply it and pray to any being you hold sacred (I suggest Jesus Christ) your panel members do not turn your project defence into a project attack!
We came, met Project defence and unfortunately for some of us it has come to stay, and the only way to graduate in most high institutions and universities is to at least defend what you have written (or copied and pasted) in a bold and convincing manner. Gone are the days when you can just give the school the hardcopy of articles already in the internet. Our Nigerian school system is changing from dumping grounds to speech oriented institutions, which means that you must be develop yourself into being a good presenter in order to scale through. At times students confuse themselves with content of their work, adding things the know nothing about just to make their work voluminous. The truth is that it is better to be more confident with a poor content, than to be unable to defend an excellent report.
In this article, I will be giving out some useful tips and tricks on how you can have an defence and presentation, be it your I.T, Seminar, project or any other thing that needs to be defended. In order to make reading this article more pleasurable, I am going to give tips on how what to do before the defence day, on the defence day, and inside the defence room. So enjoy!
TIPS TO APPLY BEFORE YOUR DEFENCE DAY
First before your defence, you must ensure you have a romantic relationship with your topic and the whole content of what you are defending on. When I say ‘romantic relationship’, I mean you must be in love with your work. If your topic is too difficult or it was imposed on you by your supervisor, you better start loving the topic or better still; look for a way to get it changed for you. In my little experience, I have discovered that students who hate their topics usually have problems flowing in the defence room, and it can mean bad for you. One trick to choose a nice research topic is by looking for subjects that you love talking about. If you’re a car freak, you should be considering topics like ‘the impact of official cars on employee productivity’. You would be amazed how this simple trick will go a long way in helping you.
Second, do adequate research on your topic. Before defending or presenting your project, you should source for similar materials on your topic. Focus on how the problem was identified and addressed. Do not dream of having an awesome presentation if you do not know common terminologies associated with your topic. Identify your keywords, variables, background of the study, history of the study and all the variables before your defence date. If you writing on ‘employee motivation and its impact on productivity, you should be able to know your two variables-‘employee motivation’ and ‘productivity’.
Third, know your motivation for the study or research. Most final year students in defending ,do not perform well because, they fail to identify their motives for the study. The motivation for your study is probably the first answer to numerous questions you may be asked in the defence room. Before a research is undertaken, there is usually a problem to solve. The desire to solve that problem becomes your motivation for the study. Please do not use money, or the need to graduate as motivations for your study. Motivation for the study is best applied in questions like ‘why undertake this study’? ‘Tell us about your work’?
Fourth, know your strength as well as your weaknesses. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you prepare a backup plan in case the direction of the defence changed in an unfavourable way.
Fifth, discuss with professionals in your research field or your predecessors and do group discussions with friends. Make your friends your panel members, and defend in front of them. Tell them to criticize and ask numerous questions. With this little training you will be tuning your mind set for what a defence room will look like. You can also seek professional help.
ON THE DAY OF DEFENCE
On the day of defence, a lot of students panic and some may even forget their topics and what they even rehearsed. Just apply the following tricks and tips and you will be just fine!
First, rehearse with friends again. Look for people to discuss your topic or what ever you are defending with all over again. This will help you remember your key points.
Second, develop good self esteem and confidence. Before you enter the defence room, make use of some good self esteem! Think well about your self, and have in mind that these professors and senior lecturers you are going to face are human beings that do not know every thing. So be in control. See yourself as someone going to lecture a bunch of people that do not know much. Remember 90% of your fears cannot be seen at first, unless you start showing it.
IN THE DEFENCE ROOM
· Climb the stage like you are a demi-god about to address your subjects.
· Greet the panel members with lots of smile
· Start once told
. Make use of your teaching stick instead of your hands
. Try locating one of your friends and act like you are talking to him or her.
. When you are done, wait for questions.
· Answer with great confidence. While answering your questions look straight into the eyes of your panel members, and never be rude.
. And always try not to interrupt while you are being corrected.
WISH YOU A WONDERFUL DEFENCE!