PowerPoint or free speech? The discussion of the degree thesis

The moment of discussion of the thesis is one of those that will hardly be forgotten by a student. If you are not an heir of the Baffo and consequently you find yourself lacking in his charisma and phantom mystery in speaking to an audience … It may be that as the discussion approaches, you find yourself feeling a little squeezed. How to do? First of all you have the choice: PowerPoint presentation or free speech, in your opinion?

Pro PowerPoint:

You will have a track to follow during the show.

You will be able to bring the evidence of what you are telling: you will be able to show to the whole commission graphics, tables and significant images to reinforce your affirmations.


You will need to physically create your PowerPoint presentation, verify that everything works before the discussion.

Verba volant, scripta manent: if you write some boiata the whole world will read it, in the oral speech you can always blame the emotion of the moment and the famous Freudian Lapsus.

If you decide for the “Pro” option, here are some tips on how to create the Powerpoint for your discussion.

Choose a SOBRIO theme. No unicorns, no butterflies, no phosphorescent transhate. Soft or pastel colors, possibly without rainbow or damask patterns. You must prove to the commission that you have produced a valid and professional job, you are not convincing them to participate in the Rio carnival …

Particularly scenographic effects avoided: a clean cut, or a fade to the maximum, will be fine for the sliding of the slides. You can set it in the “Transitions” section.

For the text use a font that is easy to read, that is not too convoluted or childish. To be clear:

Tip: before starting to compose the PowerPoint presentation you should make a diagram or a lineup. Decide what the topics are not to be missed absolutely. To make everything easier, you can rely on the index or take inspiration from the abstract. (By the way, here you can find tips on how to write it).

Don’t learn the speech by heart!

The risk is to completely lose the thread in the case of questions and interruptions. Remember that there is the possibility to insert notes that will be visible only from the computer monitor and will not be projected together with the presentation.

However, it would be good to practice once more on the exhibition, rather than being found to read the text mechanically.

Usually the discussion lasts from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of thesis and the university. Inform yourself with your advisor about the time at your disposal and try to time yourself. If you are using PowerPoint, there is a function: Presentation

During the show

Do not play with your hair and avoid over-gesturing. Keep calm and remember to breathe from time to time.

As you exhibit, remember to look at “everyone and no one”: do not focus on the committee chairman or even your supervisor. Mentally divide the audience into 3 sections (left, center and right) and make sure to look at them all in succession … naturally!

If they ask you questions or raise objections

Don’t interrupt whoever is talking to you, even if the worst castronerie are coming out of his mouth! Answer in a focused and concise way, and remember that it is not a question or an exam … The most expert about your thesis is surely you, who wrote it!