Connecting In A Video Viva

It makes a difference that you’re not in the same room as your examiners if you’re over Zoom. Delays due to a poor signal, tech failure or less body language to read could all make it harder to engage with your examiners. These factors might even create a sense that there’s something wrong with the viva.

You can make a positive difference too though. You can practise with friends or in a mock viva to get a feel for delays in communication and grow comfortable with the video format. You can explore options to help your tech situation. You can read your examiners’ work to help you connect with them. You can prepare for your viva to be as confident and ready as you can be for the situation. You can do a lot to build yourself up.

Don’t forget that whatever might interfere – tech, signal, the size of the screen on which you see your examiners – everyone involved wants the viva to go well. The online element shouldn’t interfere with any good will when it comes to connecting with your examiners, or interfere with the outcome of your viva.


Obsessed with the fine detail of your thesis? Take a step back and think about where your research fits in the field.

Pondering over how your work relates to other researchers? Zero in on all of the steps that made your work what it is.

Don’t just focus on the big picture or the small stuff. Change your perspective. Zoom in and out. Build up and reinforce the connections ahead of your viva.