As part of my roles as a PhD student, thesis supervisor and post-doc, I have literally listened to more than five hundred presentations. Unfortunately, many were very bad, making them an uncomfortable experience for both the presenter and the audience.
Over the years, I have made it a habit of asking speakers (both of good and bad presentations) whether they did a presentation rehearsal. Almost all good ones did. Without exceptions, all bad ones did not. From my experience, preparation in general and rehearsal in particular, are the most important factors influencing thesis presentation quality.
Intriguingly, this observation holds independent of whether the content is from a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD thesis. Rehearsal thus matters more than previous presentation experience.
This observation has been made by many others before me . Then why have many, if not most of the presentations I have attended obviously not been rehearsed?
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