Preparing a thesis defense

Résumé de la formation

Thesis defense is the culmination of an extensive, 3-year project. It is an exercise with very specific rules and in a short time frame.

PhD candidates must prepare thoroughly for this, both in terms of the content of their message and the form they take. To this end, this course offers participants a comprehensive preparation for oral defense in front of a jury, giving them the tools they need to perform confidently. The skills developed can also be used in other communication situations, and to valorize research works efficiently.


Unit 1: The fundamentals of thesis defense (2h)
• Purpose, duration, format, structure, subject-specifics
• The expectations and objectives of the jury, the different stakeholders and their role in the peer review process
• Exercise: deciphering the criteria and how they are evaluated during the defense followed by a time of reflexive analysis of each person’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to each criterion.

Unit 2: Planning your defence (4h30)
• The classic scheme of a defense; from the plan of the thesis to the plan of the defense
• Tips for organizing your intervention, bringing out strong ideas, concepts and key words
• The use of a visual medium (power-point style): why and how to achieve it, content, organization of information and number of slides
• Exercise: Individual preparation of one’s plan, intervention structure and strong messages.
• Intersession tip

Intersession: preparing your presentation material

Unit 3: Mastering oral communication in front of an audience (1h15)
• Basic rules for using your voice, mastering pronunciation, breathing, sound level, understanding the non-verbal part of a communication situation (managing gestures, eye contact), managing stress.
• Preventing information loss linked to the transmission of a message, significance of key words and multi-channel communication.
• Tips for bringing conviction and experience to your speech, and for conveying your motivation, enthusiasm and conviction to the jury.
• Why, how and with whom to repeat?

Unit 4: Handling questions (1h)
• Different types of questions by the chairperson, rapporteurs and other jury members (e.g., deepening of the presentation, clarification, mastery of scientific concepts, subjects and community involvement).
• The situation of a speaker in front of a jury and the exchanges, knowing how to create a constructive discussion, develop the ability to listen and interact with an audience, take questions into account, acknowledging their relevance , reformulate, deepen, explain, etc.
• Tip for taking the time to think, to know how to reflect on a tough question, to build an argument.

Unit 5: Defense simulation (4h)
• Exercise: simulated defense in front of a jury composed of the trainer and the other participants: presentation of the first 10 minutes of the presentation (introduction) + questions/answers of different types
• Each exercise will be followed by a group debriefing session, sharing of advice between participants and the trainer, and definition of an individual action plan to complete the preparation of the defense.

Conclusion (15’)
● Review of key messages and remaining questions

Objectifs de la formation :

  • Structure your defense
  • Master oral communication
  • Get trained on how to deliver an efficient speech

Formateurs et formatrices

Adoc Talent Management

Email :

Informations pratiques

  • Email (contact pédagogique):          
  • Dates prévisionnelles : session 1 le 22 avril  et le 3 mai 2022 de 9h00 à 17h00
  • session 2 le 24 mai et le 02 juin 2022 de 9h à 17h
  • Lieu :Université Paris – Bâtiment Halle aux Farines – Salle 125C. Selon l’évolution des mesures gouvernementales les formations en présentiel pourront être basculées en distanciel.
  • Pré-requis : 3rd year PhD candidates in the writing phase of their thesis work
  • Effectif maximum : 10


Outils et méthodes

Gérer sa thèse



Doctorant en 3ème année


14h/ 2 jours





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