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.
Module 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.
Module 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.
● Review of key messages and remaining questions