Thesis presentation: 20 rules to follow

We have selected 20 suggestions to present your thesis perfectly. Follow them all and make a great impression!

Presentation of degree theses: here are the rules to follow

1 The slides are not a summary of your thesis. They are a “guide” that helps the listener to follow your words (and help you not to lose the thread of the speech). So … use them. Graduation commissions are used to seeing them, so if you don’t have them the level of attention will certainly be lower.

2 The slides must not be full: they are like a track to follow, not a book to read.

3 Avoid extravagant and too “creative” animations. Better to use a single type of animation (eg fade) throughout the presentation

4 Use a font that is easy to read and consider that it must be large enough to read from the last row of a large room. Do not change fonts in different slides. Choose one and use it throughout the presentation (at most, choose another one for the titles of the slides)

5 Do not enter texts longer than 3 lines. Better to opt for “slogan” format titles or bulleted / numbered lists (don’t put punctuation at the end) or keywords. Consider that a slide with 6 lines of text is clearly legible. Always keep in mind that the important thing is that your audience listens to you, not that you lose to read slides that are too full.

6 Avoid adverbs and adjectives. Go to the juice of the speech. Help yourself with symbols (arrows or similar)

7 Avoid underlining and italics (except for any “famous phrases” with effect). Be thrifty with bold.

8 In the first slides he presents the topic and how he develops it. Whoever listens to you must fit into your reasoning process.

9 Insert charts and tables if you have time to explain and discuss them in your speech. Put an easily legible caption even for a layman who knows nothing about your data. Otherwise, don’t miss out and go to the essentials. They like a lot of figures and facts. Not all the collected data should be put into the presentation but it is useful and it is interesting to summarize them with percentages.

10 Use a slide to present the application that guided your degree thesis. The questions help to capture the attention of those who are listening to you.

11 Don’t make too many slides, but not too few. Consider one every 20-40 seconds or so.

12 If you are interested in carrying out your thesis speech, prepare a printout of your presentation with notes and arguments but give it to the panelists only after you have finished. Remember to always put your contacts also: it is not usually required, but it can make you look like a ganzo!

13 Avoid sound effects. They would disturb your thought flow, probably already pervaded by generalized anxiety. Better to avoid sources of disturbance

14 Avoid automatic animations. It is better to be able to proceed as and when in the speech “you are ready to go on” and not when the presentation decides.

15 The contents of the slides must follow your thesis path: introduction, body of the text and conclusions. Use effective titles and not “Introduction”.

16 Choice of theme (background): some universities strongly recommend the theme to choose. In that case, follow the advice. If you do not report anything instead, remember that the most legible slides are those with a blue background and yellow or white lettering. Red writing is challenging for the view.

17 Conclude with a “phrase to effect”, perhaps of some known and known author rather than not concluding or ending with “Thanks for the attention”. Under the sentence put also your thanks but better not to dedicate a single slide.

18 Always save your presentation in pdf format. To avoid technical problems that cause an unparalleled increase in anxiety.

19 Always carry a copy of the presentation on a USB flash drive for security.

20 Test your presentation: it could happen that the PC used for the graduation session has a version of Powerpoint different from yours.

What could happen? For example, you may not be able to view the presentation and the images and text may not look like you designed them.

What to do about it? We recommend that you save the presentation in the 1997/2003 format, which is a format compatible with all versions and in pdf format (especially if you used a Mac).

To be even safer, you could go to the answering machine and ask if you can try the presentation on the PC that will be used that day. In many universities it is even a request from the same university. A technician will prepare all the presentations of the graduating students on the desktop on the PC of the graduation session, so that that day you will simply have to click on your file.