In The Frame

Pause, think, respond.

That’s how you engage with a question or comment in the viva. You pause in order to think and you think in order to respond well.

Pause and Think: Are your examiners clear with their question? Do you know what they are asking or needing you to speak about?

Think and Respond: Be calm and clear as you respond. Are you responding to their question or comment directly? If not, how are you reframing that?

If you can’t respond directly to a question then you need to think about how you can still engage with it. “I don’t know” and exploring why you don’t know is a good response. Trying to steer away and talk about something different is a bad response.

Pause and think to fully understand how a question or comment is framed. Think then frame your response well so your examiners can clearly understand you.