Personal development is sometimes seen as a box-ticking exercise during a PhD: perhaps a form or report that has to be filled in every now and then. That’s a shame, because I think personal development is what the PhD is all about. A PhD is not just a piece of paper or a couple of extra letters around your name. It stands for something. It represents the change you’ve made in yourself.
Reflecting on that before the viva helps you. You don’t want to stand on a chair and boast of your talent and knowledge, but you do want to sit there and be confident. Reflect on your journey. Reflect on the change in yourself. Consider how you have grown and developed and use that to build your confidence for the viva – where you can calmly explain and explore what it all means.