a project defence room where you are presenting your research work in
such a fabulous way, and your panel members just can’t stop nodding,
gazing at you with their mouths wide open and clapping non-stop for
you…It is just an imagination, so wake up! Put more work to it by
reading this article, apply it and pray your panel members do not turn
your project defence to project attack!
Project defence has come to
stay, and the only way to graduate in Nigerian universities is to at
least defend what you have written (or copied and paste) in a convincing
manner. Gone are the days when you could just copy and paste an article
from the internet and dump for your school. Our Nigerian school system
is changing from dumping grounds to speech oriented institutions, which
means that you must be good at presentations in order to scale through.
At times students confuse themselves with content of their work. The
truth is that it is better to be more confident with a poor content,
than to be un-able to defend an excellent research work.
In this
article, I am going to give out some useful tips and tricks on how you
can have an awesome project defence and presentation. 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!
First before your project defence, you must ensure you have a romantic
relationship with your project topic and the whole content. When I say
‘romantic relationship’, I mean your research topic or research thesis
must be of great interest to you. If your topic is too difficult or it
was imposed on you by your project 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
Third, know your motivation for the study or
research. Most final year students in Nigeria defending their projects
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 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, a lot of students panic and some may even forget
their project topics. Just apply the following tricks and tips and you
will be just fine!
First, rehearse with friends again. Look for
people to discuss your project 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.
·         Knock first before you enter.
·         Greet the panel members with lots of smile
·         Wait for your first question
·         Answer with great confidence. While answering your questions
look straight into the eyes of your panel members, and never be rude.
All is well!



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