Degree thesis discussion: useful tips on how to deal with it

The dissertation discussion is one of the most important moments in a student’s career. After having successfully attended the course years, the moment finally arrives to enjoy the fruits of one’s work, discussing the thesis in front of a commission.

The presentation of the thesis will allow you to expose your research work in detail and, in a sense, it will be the last “exam” to be taken before reaching the desired goal.

Preparing a speech for the degree thesis can be complicated, but don’t worry: here is what you need to know about the time of the discussion and our suggestions to manage it in the best way.

How to manage the presentation of the thesis
From the organization of the speech to the actual moment of the graduation thesis discussion, let’s see together how to manage this important moment in your academic career.

Thesis discussion: how it works


The first thing to say when discussing a three-year or master degree thesis discussion at the Niccolò Cusano University concerns the modalities and functioning of this practice.

As we have said, the presentation of a thesis consists in the presentation, in front of a Commission, of your research work, agreed with your supervisor.

In this context you will have to work hard to communicate to those who will listen to you what are the reasons that guided the choice of the topic, the main contents and the conclusions to which you have arrived.

In general, the time factor in these cases plays a fundamental role: usually the time for the presentation is very short and varies from 10 to 20 minutes for the discussion of a specialist degree thesis.

In light of this, when you write your speech, try to calibrate the times so as to build it in the best and most functional way for you. We recommend organizing the speech by points, so you always have a set list ready to practice. Now let’s see how to structure your presentation in detail.

Speech structure


To face the discussion, the best thesis is to prepare a detailed speech, to manage the presentation and any questions from the Commission.

A ladder could follow a pattern similar to this:

  • Start from the incipit graduation speech, where you will anticipate the message and the content you will transmit, defining the theme and the points supporting the thesis;
  • Build the body of the speech, starting with a technical explanation that illustrates the work methodology and the analyzes performed. If useful, prepare dissertation slides that will help you expose everything with the help of graphs and diagrams;
  • Continue to illustrate your work by trying to create interest in those who are listening to you, preparing you for possible questions;
  • Conclude with your overall impressions of the research and possible points of reflection for the future and the evolution of the topic you have discussed.

Speaking of timing, you can adapt this ladder by following the model below, which takes as a example a time for the 15 minute discussion:

  • 2-4 min. dedicated to the description of the topic, thesis index and introduction
  • 6-8 min. for the description of your work, trying to leak your personal point of view and the essence of your project;
  • 5 min. for organic reflections and conclusions.
  • 5 tips on how to discuss a thesis
  • Now that we’ve seen how to organize the lineup of your speech, let’s see 5 useful tips to manage the time of the discussion:
  • Assume that the discussion is a bit like an exam, but there is a substantial difference: you are the one exposing your work and conducting the speech;
  • If you are interrupted during the show, have the examiner speak and listen carefully to your question. Once you have answered the question, resume your speech in a harmonious way, without having to necessarily follow your lineup. Be flexible and adapt your speech to the rhythm of the discussion;
  • Pay attention to your way of communicating and non-verbal language: be sure of yourself and don’t let any worries leak out. Watch the members of the Commission in the eyes, keep your back straight and adjust your movements and the tone of your voice. We advise you to try your speech before the discussion at home, in front of a mirror, to perfect your exhibition;
  • Avoid grammatical blunders or terms in other languages ​​if you don’t know the pronunciation. Unless you are a student in English, of course, pay attention to the words you use;
  • After the discussion of the thesis, at the time of the proclamation, remember to shake hands first with the Commission President and then with all other members.