I am here today to cross the swamp, not to fight all the alligators.
A quote from The Art of Possibility by Ben and Ros Zander; it popped up several months ago in a newsletter I subscribe to. I love a good quote, and this one is apt for the viva.
You just need to get to the other side. That’s your job. Your job is not to defend every idea to the death, your job is not to respond forcefully to every criticism, you don’t have to fight-fight-fight your way through.
Questions and comments could suddenly pop out of the water and you might need to make a full response for some. For many you could just say, “OK, thank you. Thanks for letting me know. That’s interesting. Could you tell me more?”
You don’t have to fight all of the alligators in your viva. You need to get to the other side – to being done.