Tips and strategies to prepare for your oral viva voce presentation
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What is a viva voce?
Viva voce is a Latin word that translates most often as “through word of mouth.” It is an oral examination in academic circles during which you defend your research.
Following the defense, the thesis is debated in a small circle. Naturally, the examining professors will be there, but they may be joined by research assistants, representatives of the appropriate department, or even other students.
The aim of this defense is to demonstrate to the examiners your familiarity with your study subject, your ability to absorb and apply what you have learnt. In effect, it demonstrates if you’re well equipped to engage in intellectual debate.
In theory, the viva will not determine an entire grade, but it may tip the scales if you are on the cusp. However, it has the benefit of resolving any ambiguities, assuaging any concerns your examiners may well have, and demonstrating that you stand by your study.
The crucial point is thorough preparation
Months, if not years, of diligent labor later, the thesis is completed, the last formatting errors fixed, the bibliography carefully reviewed one more time, and hurrah, it is complete! After hours spent hunched over a desk, night shifts, and unending discipline, it is time to rejoice! And then you are invited to the viva.
The good news is that you have already completed the most of the preparation. That was the purpose of the extensive study you conducted to develop your thesis. You are already a specialist on your subject; all you need to do now is communicate it properly and calmly to your examiners. That is why it makes no sense to make preparations for your viva until you have completed your thesis and addressed all of your own questions.
Your supervisor should be aware of what to anticipate – and the viva’s goal is to communicate your findings. Some individuals just hand in their dissertation with great relief and then forget about it for a time. This is not an issue, however when the viva is coming, you need to really refresh your memory on the subject. S right your dissertation a few times to refresh your memory on your findings and methodology, and you have already accomplished a significant portion of the work required for your viva!
Organization of the viva voce
You should carefully review your institution’s examination rules to determine what will be expected of you during your viva. How long must the talk be? Is there any information on the kind of presentation, who will be present, and the structure of the post-presentation discussion group? Research has shown that knowing precisely what to anticipate substantially reduces anxiety. This is an opportunity that you should seize.
Additionally, consider what you would want to wear on the day and if you would like to create a handout.
When there are no specific guidelines, the following are some pointers:
In terms of attire, you should be led by the topic and the manner in which your supervisor dresses. If they consistently wear suits, you may infer they value formal attire. In general, strive for a tidy look and attire that is neither too casual nor too dressy.
Even though it is not expressly necessary, a handout may sometimes be beneficial. It demonstrates to the examiners that you have considered their convenience and makes the framework of your presentation simpler to follow. It may also have an effect on the following discussion, since examiners may use your handouts as a guide for their questions.
Viva Slide show presentation – technical aspects
PowerPoint is the most often used format for viva presentations. Before you begin working on the material, it is critical to familiarize yourself by how PowerPoint works.
In terms of the PowerPoint presentation itself, it is critical to avoid unnecessary transitions, overly colored slides, and foreign typefaces. This is a professional presentation, and the slides should reflect that. Unnecessary and distracting items will detract from the gravity of your arguments. Utilize a consistent font style and a neutral (ideally white) backdrop color.
The basic guideline for these kind of presentations is: Keep Things Simple. Text-heavy slides irritate people and divert attention away from the essential points. While it is ideal to utilize as little language and as few important points as possible, it is also critical to properly record your accomplishments while presenting in a viva. Allowing for interpretation may be very hazardous in this case. Naturally, this depends on the examiners’ tastes, but a bit more text than is often included in presentations is absolutely acceptable. If your job requires it, graphics, photographs, or flowcharts are an excellent method to add diversity and effectively explain complicated problems.
Additionally, it is essential to verify that all technical equipment will function properly on-site on the day. Ascertain that you understand what to do if anything goes wrong, and create as many plan Bs as possible!