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what is appropriate time for my defense presentation?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 fortunate

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 05:44 PM

Hi, all:

I practised my defense presentation and it may take over 80 minutes, but my advisor asked me to limit to 50 mins. As a non-native english speaker, it seems an impossible mission for me :D

So is there any regulation or convention in terms of the time length for the PhD defense presentation? How long will be comfortable for 'uninterested' committee prefessors?
Will they tend to fail me just because I keep talking like forever during my presentation?

also, any advice or tacts to make them 'interested' in my presentation is welcome. Thanks in advance.


#2 LostintheLab

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 06:28 PM

I would strongly take the advice of your advisor and cut down the length of your talk. 80 mins is too long to hold the attention, no matter how interesting your talk is- remember your undergraduate lectures... You can probably ask the advice of those around on how to best edit or get someone who's a native speaker to run through your talk so you can practice and get more confident in speaking, assuming you have time to do this, when is your thesis defence?

Try and focus on summarising your thesis so that the main points, main results and discussion is put across after you've introduced the subject (though remember that your examiners should be familar with your field, or at least one of them is). Small points can be left for discussion. The talk is there to help the examiners see the overall picture of your PhD work, and to see that you actually did the work too.

I don't think they would fail you because your took too long on your talk, I'm not sure of the rules at your institution, so check about the length of presentations in case there is actually a rule about that.
This is your work remember, so you should sound confident and interested in your work- you worked hard to get this far so let it show when you talk. Be proud of what you've achieved and it will come across when you talk I"m sure.

Good Luck and congratulations of getting to this point! You're nearly there :D
I knew it! I knew it! Well, not in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know.

#3 fortunate

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:55 PM

Lost in the Lab,

I like your name :D
I appreciate your suggestions for me!



when is your thesis defence?---Next Thursday, so what I am doing is try to memorize what I am about to say. I am not good at improptu.

Try and focus on summarising your thesis so that the main points, main results and discussion is put across after you've introduced the subject (though remember that your examiners should be familar with your field, or at least one of them is).-----I did spend lots of time in the Introduction. I am in an Animal Science department, three committee members are in traditional animal science expertise such as animal nutrition. But we are using biomedical methods(Western, RT-PCR, IP) to detect various cellular signaling pathway changes under nutrients manipulaiton with 0.1 grams of tissue!!, they focus on the performance of 1500 lbs beef cattle. So it took me time to explain to them what those signaling pathways are made up of and why I detected them. It will save time if I don't explain, but I thought they are not familiar with them.

Small points can be left for discussion. The talk is there to help the examiners see the overall picture of your PhD work, and to see that you actually did the work too.----My problem is I am too frugal to remove my pains-taking prepared slides. But I will take your advice and leave them to discussion if they ask for those information.

This is your work remember, so you should sound confident and interested in your work- you worked hard to get this far so let it show when you talk. Be proud of what you've achieved and it will come across when you talk I"m sure.-----I don't know why, I am confident when I present others concepts, but nervous when talk about my own data. I published a paper in 2009, but is only cited once until now :( .
I know its my weakness because I kind of lack confidence in my daily life too.

Good Luck and congratulations of getting to this point! You're nearly there :) ----Thank you again for your suggestions and encouragement!
[/quote]

#4 LostintheLab

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 08:11 PM

Wow, next thursday...remember to breathe!

I understand your point about explaining the signalling pathways, make sure you make that they are as simple as possible. They're complicated for those who know, let alone those aren't so familiar!
I think I really wouldn't explain WB, RT-PCR IP to these guys though- they should still be familiar with these concepts, so just say you did them, its the results that matter for the talk. Move these slides to the discussion area if necessary...
Practicing will help get your confidence up and remember you published! so your data has already be validated that way. It doesn't matter about citing numbers, you published.
I get you on the presenting others concepts vs your own work- I still have the same problems, which is where the practicing comes in...it will help with confidence.

Seriously, good luck for next Thursday. You'll do fine I'm sure, your advisor wouldn't have let you submit if they didn't think you would pass - keep that in mind.

Keep smiling!
:D
I knew it! I knew it! Well, not in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know.

#5 toejam

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 01:39 AM

hi fortunate,
as lil (and also your supervisor) said, 80 min is way too long. think if the audience if focusing on the introduction, by the time you get to your results their minds might be somewhere else.
i would recommend you to talk about the pathways and other stuff that is related to your project directly. talk about the science itself, not about methodologies.
i have seen some talks where the speaker memorizes everything, it was clear but the inconvenient i find is that the voice tone doesn't change so it sounds plain if you see what i mean. as well as you don't have to memorize it all you don't have to improvise everything :D
best of luck with it!
"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the Earth"

#6 LostintheLab

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:03 PM

I agree with Toejam, a monotone memorized speech can be really boring, but practicing so that you're more confident speaking in English is going to be good for you. Doesn't have to be perfectly memorised- remember its all your work so you should know it!
Focus on the main points that you want to bring across when you speak.
I knew it! I knew it! Well, not in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know.

#7 fortunate

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 10:20 AM

I agree with Toejam, a monotone memorized speech can be really boring, but practicing so that you're more confident speaking in English is going to be good for you. Doesn't have to be perfectly memorised- remember its all your work so you should know it!
Focus on the main points that you want to bring across when you speak.



Thank you again!

:P Only one and half days left, I need smile to myself.

If someone still see this, can you tell me what foods and drink do I need to prepare for my defense? I need specific brand. (my committee: three American, one Indian American, one my advisor)





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