10 Most Embarrassing Things That Can Happen During Dissertation Defense

10 Most Embarrassing Things That Can Happen During Dissertation Defense

Is your PhD dissertation defense approaching near? If yes, all you need to do is to calm down and relax first. In most academic institutes, students are required to defend their thesis in front of chosen committee members. In this article, we will highlight some embarrassing mistakes that can happen during dissertation defense and tell you how to avoid such mistakes.

What Are the Ten Most Embarrassing Things That Can Happen During a Dissertation Defense?

It is advisable to avoid the following terrible mistakes while preparing for your dissertation defense and during the defense process. You will be in embarrassing situations if you do not consider these points. Here is a list of such mistakes and their possible solutions:

A Poor Introduction

The audience of your dissertation defense session expects you to draw their attention to your dissertation topic as well as the dissertation proposal. If you fail to give an impressive introduction to your audience, they might lose interest soon in what you have to tell them more about your thesis.


Working on an opening statement to captivate the audience all at once will be best. A good introduction excites the committee members to know more about your thesis. Your tone during the first few minutes of the thesis introduction must be confident and energetic.

Not Making a List of Expected Questions

Are there some burning questions in the audience’s minds regarding your research topic? If so, note them down. Read your thesis from a reader’s point of view and brainstorm the questions that might arise in your mind.


Pretend you know nothing about your thesis topic and think of the questions that immediately pop up. This list of questions will prepare you better answer the questions of readers, and your dissertation defense session will go smoother than expected. Hiring a good dissertation writing service can help you to make a list of expected questions and prepare for them.

Poor Body Language

Your presentation might be all well and good, but a poor communication style and a bad posture can ruin your impression. You must pay attention to your body language during the dissertation defense process.


It will be best to look at yourself and observe the movements you make. Standing up straight and relaxing your shoulders makes you look more confident and well put together.

Getting Defensive

You will embarrass yourself if you start getting defensive at any questions from the audience. Even if a question sounds like a disguised assault, you must not lose your calm and avoid counter-attacking.


If someone points out a genuine issue, you should listen attentively and realise the accuracy or validity of their observation. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is natural. Expressing gratitude for the assistance of the questioner will be best to do in this situation.

Poorly Designed Presentation

It will show if you do not spend enough time on your presentation. Suppose a panel member asks you an obvious question you do not know the answer to just because you did not pay much attention to your presentation; think about how embarrassing it can get!


It is important to spend enough time making a structured presentation. It would help if you prepared high-quality slides to impress the committee members. It is advisable to use smart software to create better-quality slides.

Stumbling during the Defense Process

It will be best to control your breath to avoid stumbling while defending your dissertation before a panel. It will make you look less anxious, calmer, and prepared for the thesis defense.


Have you watched TED-talk videos and observed the fluency of speakers? It is because they practice several breathing techniques. It would be best to learn to control your breath; pay attention to your breathing pattern and slow it down. It is important to take steady and long breaths to keep yourself calm.

Not Knowing about the Process

If you do not participate in the dissertation presentations at your university, you will not be as familiar with the process as other students. It can also create an embarrassing situation for you.


Participating in the thesis defense sessions at your institute will help you realise that thesis defense is not scary. You will also learn tips and tricks from fellow students and researchers on defending your dissertation. You can also get help from dissertation experts from reliable firms like Affordable Dissertation UK.

Getting Nervous in front of the Panel

If you start getting nervous in front of the panel, you will try to finish your presentation faster, inevitably turning into a mess. Furthermore, it will make you look anxious and unprepared for the dissertation defense.


One tip is to get enough rest on your thesis defense day. The second will be to stay calm and confident and avoid any haste. Otherwise, you will be too fast and skip many important details, leading to failure.

Dealing with the Mistakes

We all make mistakes. The only important thing is to keep going. If you realise that your supervisor misguided you or he was not right about something, which led you to embarrassment in your dissertation defense, do not start blaming him during the session.


Own your mistakes and take responsibility for what you present in your thesis defense. It will be best not to blame anyone else; otherwise, it will add to your embarrassment. Avoid giving too many excuses or saying excessively sorry; it gives a negative impression.

Not Starting Early

Not knowing the intricacies of thesis defense will make you feel embarrassed, and you might fail to meet all the objectives on time. Imagine failing your thesis because you did not start it earlier – how terrible would that be?


A dissertation defense is not a 3-month or 6-month exercise. It would help if you did not wait till the last minute to start working on your thesis defense. Remember to ensure that you understand the complications of the process and know the reasons for the research experiments you conducted.


It is okay for dissertation writers to commit such mistakes during their PhD dissertation defense. Remember that error is human; we all make mistakes, and it is natural. The key to tackling such an embarrassing situation is to accept it and stay confident and calm instead of panicking. Keep our tips in mind while going for your dissertation defense; you will be ready for the big day!