The Art of a Simplistic Power Point

Dissertation Defense

Power point presentations are a necessary part of the dissertation process. You will likely need to complete two of them: one for your proposal (or pre-data collection) defense and one for your final defense. The way in which you approach your power point can make a big difference on how your defense presentation is received.

The basic approach to the power point is easy enough: you simply include the highlights of the information that you have already included in your dissertation. The only catch is that the information should be simplified a great deal. Do not just copy and paste large swaths of information from the dissertation. This will result in too much content on the slides, and your chair will ask you to revise the presentation before approving you to move forward with the defense.

Do not worry about not having this information at your fingertips, though; you can include it in the “Notes” section of the slides. Just include bullet points on each of the slides. These do not need to be complete sentences with citations such as the ones that you are used to using in your dissertation. These are minimalist key points that you can expand on verbally when you present each slide.

You will need to consider the length of your presentation as well. Most defenses last 20-30 minutes (including a 10-minute Q&A session with the committee). Keeping the slides clear and concise will enable you to have more control over how much of the information you include from your notes. Run through the presentation a few times to gauge how much time you need; determine if you can include all of your notes or if you will need to pick and choose which points to talk about.

Finally, take a deep breath, smile, and present. You know this; and you’ll hit it out of the park!


Want more tips from our dissertation experts? Fill out the form to the right to request our 7 Secrets to Completing Your Dissertation in One Year download.

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