I love little quirks of language. We often use the verb give in connection with a presentation. It makes me think of gifts and presents – a present-ation!
Sometimes PhD candidates are asked to prepare a presentation to start the viva. If we consider the presentation as a gift you’re giving, then perhaps it makes sense to think of it like other gifts we might give.
- Be sure it’s wanted. Your examiners will probably have some expectations of length and content. Either ask them or ask your supervisors for what is required.
- Spend an appropriate amount. You invest time rather than money in this gift: a little preparation and practice will help. You don’t need to spend a lot to have something right for the occasion.
- Upcycle previous gifts! A presentation for the start of your viva will not be the first time you have presented work from your thesis. Look at past talks and notes. Draw from them to make something to share with your examiners.
Gifts give something to the giver and the receiver. The person or people receiving have something they didn’t have before – in this case, examiners have information and a sense of who the giver, the candidate, is and what they have done.
As the giver, you give yourself permission to be proud of what you’ve done; you give yourself a good starting point for the viva; you give yourself a useful element of preparation and a confidence boost.