One of the hardest part in project writing is defending your final year project; like my PhD supervisor would say “You can pay someone to write your project for you, but you can’t get them to defend it for you”. So, if you are looking for practical steps on how to defend your final year project then read on.
To be clear, defending your project is very easy when you prepare very well, that is while we put together this resources for you. I hope that this article will give you the needed boost and inspire your confidence as you prepare ahead to defend your final year project.
Table of Contents
How to Successfully Defend your Final Year Project (Presentation Tips)
1. Prepare ahead of time
The best way to prepare for your project defense is to review your project, understand your purpose for the project and be conversant with your research outcome. You can get a jotter, write out key points from your project, read, study and understand those key points.
For example, your key points should address these questions and more: What were your research outcome? What was your research method? what are the implication of your research to your course of choice? etc.,
2. Prepare a PowerPoint Presentation
Get the format for your departmental project presentation and start putting together your PowerPoint for your project defense. Generally, your power point presentation will cover Abstract, Introduction, Research Methodology, Research Outcome, Discussion/Recommendations. It helps if you have this presentation done on time to avoid last minutes rush, preparing your power point on time is very good for your confident and you can easily spot and correct some errors before the D-day.
3. Do a mock presentation before your supervisor
I have been lucky to have Project supervisors who organize mock project defense for their students. A mock project defense with your supervisor is one of the best way to spot loopholes in your PowerPoint presentation. You can arrange with your project supervisor and defend your project before him/her, this will give your supervisor a chance to criticize your work and also guide you on how to prepare for the main project defense
3. Be Confident and passionate
To defend your final year project successfully you need to be confident; remember this, you are defending a project you work on maybe within 6 month, one year or more, so you are an authority on the subject you are about to defend. It’s important to be very confident and passionate about the topic during the defense.
My BSC supervisor told me, an hour to me defense “Dan, we will be waiting to hear you lecture us about your project for 15 minutes, don’t let me down” It was fun to summarize one year of work under 15 minutes.
4. Time is very Important
One of the key aspect in your presentation is time. Be sure to keep to time allocated for your presentation, If you are given 15 minutes for presentation, use the15 minutes, timed yourself and present within the given timeframe. Going overboard or below the given timeframe is not professional.
5. Attempt all questions and be honest with your answers
Questions are always for clarification; the external supervisor might want to confuse you a little with his/her questions, in order to ascertain if you truly understand the project. When you get to this segment of the presentation, don’t panic, listen to the question carefully, if you don’t understand the question, seek clarification. Attempt all questions within the context of the project, if you see any question that is outside the scope of your project; attempt the question but with a caveat (especially if you don’t know the answer) like this “Even though what you asked was not within the scope of my work, I believe it will be a great focus for future research, however on the interim, these are my submission……”
You can defend your final year research project in style when you adhere to the step listed above. Remember, it’s your project and no one knows it better than you.