Beneath the surface of the viva is a conversation. For all the importance it has, it’s a discussion and one you can prepare for.
Beneath the surface of your thesis is a contribution. Across thousands of words you tell the story of what you did, what it means and why it matters.
Beneath the surface of you, the candidate, is a real human being. Not perfect, but certainly capable, knowledgeable and experienced.
Beneath the surface of your nervousness, assuming you feel it, is a highly capable researcher who can share their contribution through a conversation. We wrap layers of importance and association around what a viva is, what a thesis must have and what being a good candidate means.
Beneath the surface of all of this are simple thoughts that help.