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How to make a successful VIVA presentation

posted 2 Mar 2015, 01:39 by Tracy Wilkinson   [ updated 16 Mar 2015, 03:37 by Adelina Chalmers ]
Adelina enjoys training university lecturers, professors and PHD students to hone their presentation skills and works regularly at Cranfield and Cambridge Universities.  Her sessions with PHD students are frequently about helping them get great results from their VIVA presentation and there are some common mistakes that appear time and again.  

These common mistakes made delivering VIVA presentations are:
  • they don't start with originality - explain why this research is original
  • they use generalities, the assessors are interested in specifics.  For instance, talk about the techniques you've developed and how much faster they are than the current ones.
  • they don't give a before/after scenario - if you don't have consistent results, you could say 'in the best case' we achieved an improvement of X times in speed/growth/cost/time, giving specific examples of what you did and what you achieved by doing it.
  • they don't describe the methodology - explain how you got those results because your audience wants to understand their validity before you tell them. 
These points might help you adjust the emphasis of your VIVA presentation, after all, you only have on average 10 minutes.  You have to be selective with what you include.  I hope this helps you do just that.  Good luck.