I have a hard time defining my job title. Sometimes I’m a freelance consultant, sometimes I’m a writer, sometimes I’m a skills trainer. I go back and forth on describing my Viva Survivor workshops as training. I share ideas and advice, explain what the viva is all about and help people to see that they have a lot of talents already. I want to help people feel as confident as possible for their viva. Some days I feel happy saying that the workshop is a skills training session, other days it doesn’t feel quite right.
Your institution probably provides a lot of training opportunities. They might book me to come in or provide their own sessions on viva prep, or they might not do something like that. Regardless of whether or not they provide viva training, look around for other sessions that could help you with finishing your PhD and preparing for the viva.
Look for workshops on presentation skills, confidence building, assertiveness – none of this is about the viva or viva prep, but all could help with it. Even if you’re three months from submission, if you feel it will help, see if there are any academic or thesis writing workshops. There will be valuable lessons you can learn from a half day session. The real value, of course, is when you make changes as a result.
See what’s on offer, see what you might learn and then think about the difference that could make.