How to create the best undergraduate or master’s thesis presentation to win over the committee

9 minutes
Written by: Natalia De la Peña Frade

Nervous? That’s normal!

When you are about to finish your undergraduate, bachelor, graduate school, or master’s degree studies, it’s time to prepare your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation. Or any other kind of final study work – we know that the name can vary according to country.

The goal of this post is to be useful for any kind of final work. When that time comes, you’ll be all nerves, so you probably won’t be able to think of anything else!

Putting together your final work is a challenge because it involves a great deal of autonomy and because you need to demonstrate the ability to apply the acquired knowledge and related competencies.

As if that weren’t enough, you also have to show your mastery of digital tools and other data search sources. There’s so much to think about!

Genially to the rescue! We’ve created this post for you, who, like thousands of other students, have to defend your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation without prior training on how to deal with the most important presentation before you get your degree.

Here you’ll find the keys to an excellent result in your research work, whether it’s on-site or remotely. We also have first-hand information (from college professors) on the combination of decisive factors to keep everything under control and achieve success.

Steps to have the best Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation in your class

We’ve explained the process in five steps. Some may seem less important to you than others, but don’t be fooled. They’re all important parts of the process, and each step contributes something to your success. Give each part ample attention and care!

1. Get inspired

It’s a good idea to start by reflecting to inspire yourself and to figure out what content to include in your Undergraduate or Master’s Thesis presentation. Take time to get information from different sources. For example:

  • Talk to students who defended their work the previous year.
  • List possible topics that are not too saturated and that you can find enough data about. You don’t want an obscure subject that nothing has been written about, but you also don’t want a topic where everything has already been said and you cannot contribute much.
  • Do an online search to see other final projects related to your interests and fields of study.

First, choose the topic that interests you – the more specific, the better. Next, think about what problems it presents and what variables are involved. As you know, your decision to choose a given subject will need to be agreed upon with your advisor, who can even help you choose a topic within your research interests.

Once you have chosen a topic and you know more or less the content you want to include, you’ll want to create a mind map.

Mind maps are a very useful tool for laying out information and deciding how to divide it into chapters. Try to put the information into a template like this one:

2. Plan carefully

You already know what aspects you need to gather, now how about setting some deadlines for yourself? It’s just like when you make a schedule for yourself during final exams. It will be great for you to create a timeline to organize yourself, and make sure to communicate these deadlines to your advisor to help you stay on track.

You have a lot of work ahead of you. If you split it into smaller goals, it will be much easier to tackle it. Organizing your goals into a calendar will help you reinforce your commitment and will help prevent you from straying from the deadlines you initially set.

Planning is just as important as following it. One of the keys to succeeding with your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis is to avoid last-minute, stressful situations. Stress doesn’t lead to anything good!

Want a professional tip on content creation? Content should be left to rest once it’s created. You need to walk away for a few hours so you can review it later with a clear mind. It doesn’t work to leave things for the last minute. Take your time to get the most out of your work. Everything can improve with some good editing.

3. Sources

Work with scientific databases. Universities have a wide catalog of databases, books and magazines for their students. You have a whole universe of physical and electronic resources at your disposal! You can read a multitude of academic articles about the aspects that relate to the topic chosen for your final project.

If you aren’t familiar with this type of database, ask someone at the library to teach you how to use them for free.

Get a good deal of articles on your subject and highlight the most important parts of each one. It’s essential to know what has already been published to provide new knowledge or insights on your topic.

If you are going to include numeric data or a phrase or paragraph from someone else, remember the correct way to cite sources. Generally, the citation method followed is APA. If you have doubts about the rules about citing authors and data, the faculty at your university should be accustomed to working with them and can give you the instructions.

Do you know what’s great? A horizontal or vertical infographic as a summary table of bibliographic references. It’s easier than it seems. Simply choose the template that best suits you and include your information at each point.

Then, with some tweaks, it’ll be perfect. This is something that will surprise in a very positive way and will help you for bibliographic review. You’re going to leave the committee amazed!

Infographic templates

4. Prepare your content

An important question: Do you already know how much time you will be given to present? It’s imperative that you adjust your presentation to fit the time you are given. It can be 15 or 30 minutes. If you still don’t know how much time it is, send an email to your advisor right away, or check out the website to figure it out before moving on.

Once you know the duration of the presentation, the next thing to do is to select your content well. For as much time as you may have to present, it will be impossible to present all the work you’ll do over the next few months. That’s why you have to choose carefully and emphasize the most important information.

What information is necessary for an Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation?

In addition to the title page, index, and development, make sure you include:

  • A slide dedicated to the justification of the study. Argue for the necessity of your research. Think about why it’s important to solve certain problems in this sector, what social benefits are provided, and what it contributes to knowledge.
  • A slide to explain the overall goal and specific goals of your research.
  • A slide for your hypotheses. It’s generally recommended to incorporate all hypotheses into the presentation, but in cases where the number of hypotheses you have will not work given the time limitation, you may choose the most important ones.
  • A slide for the methodology used. Here you can discuss how you obtained and analyzed the data.
  • A slide for your results. Explain each result achieved, their meaning, and evaluate them against the results obtained by other authors and confirm or reject the hypotheses you presented earlier.
  • A slide for your conclusions. You can number the conclusions, make them in sections, or in blocks. It’s not about summarizing your work, but about detailing what you’ve contributed. You should also incorporate some comments on potential future lines of research, limitations, and implications for the private/public sector here.
  • A thank you slide. Devote the last slide to thanking your audience for their attention and to answering all the questions they want to ask.

It’s worth taking time to make each slide look nice as they will guide your audience through the oral presentation. Remember:

  • Simplify the text as much as possible
  • Transmit just one or two key messages per slide
  • Organize your content
  • Use royalty-free, high-quality images

Practical tips for creating your presentation

I’m sure you’ve had to endure a boring presentation with slides loaded with text where you either end up reading, or end up listening to the person who’s presenting. How can you avoid this mistake? Easy! Use interactivity.

Interactivity allows you to structure information at different levels. You can add photos from royalty-free image banks, pictures, tables, icons, and more to your slides and organize the written information on a second level.

The goal is to make your presentation as visual as possible. Remember that images are the element with the greatest power to maintain attention.

Plus, with an interactive presentation, it’s much easier to attract the attention of each member of the committee, whether you need to present your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation in person or in an online exhibition.

Don’t worry about having an internet connection. With Genially, you can download your presentation in HTML to make everything work even offline.

College faculty say that there are very skilled final projects that see their ratings reduced by a bad presentation. Use a Genially template so this doesn’t happen to you!

These templates for Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentations include all the essential slides and some more if you need them. The designs are highly visual and are designed to help you structure information. If you use any of these templates, you’ll already have part of the work done! You can also modify the design as much as you like – they are completely customizable.

Undergraduate or Master’s Thesis Templates

5. About language

Never forget to follow the language of a research work:

  • Review the existing literature in the field
  • Set goals and a hypotheses
  • Apply a methodology
  • Collects sample data
  • Discuss the results
  • Draw some conclusions

And remember: Before each deadline, it’s essential to carefully read your work to identify any spelling or grammatical errors.

6. Finally! It’s time to succeed with your presentation

Your content is ready and has been reviewed! The worst is over… well, almost! Thinking about defending your project before the committee probably also makes you a little nervous, right? It’s not enough to just make your content good – you need to make it incredible to dazzle the committee.

Surely you already know this, but just in case: You need to spend lots of time rehearsing before you show up. The more you practice, the less nervous you’ll be.

Want an infallible trick? Record yourself as you go through the presentation. In the Genially editor, you can record your own audio for free. The time is limited to 10 minutes, but you can record more than one audio. It will help you to 100% guarantee that you will meet the set time.

How to succeed with your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis presentation

With the help of these tips, you’re going to have an incredible presentation, and it’ll be easier than you think:

  • During the presentation of your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis you have one clear goal: To get the committee’s attention. Don’t worry, just stay focused and bring it home. Interactivity and animation will be the aces up your sleeve.
  • If you are able to convey confidence, your audience will feel that you’ve mastered the topic. Project your voice, make eye contact, don’t turn your back on the committee, stay in a confident position, and gesture without being overly dramatic to reinforce key ideas.

Your body language is a reflection of yourself, so try to convey confidence and strength

  • Remember the basic tips for public speaking: don’t cross your arms, don’t put your hands in your pockets, and stand throughout the presentation.
  • What should you do with your hands? You don’t need to chop your arms off – just make sure you keep them under control! To control your arms, always try holding something during the presentation: A pen, a pointer, or a remote to change slides with.
  • Make consistent eye contact with the entire committee. We often end up looking only at the person who gives us the most confidence, but make an effort to try to look at everyone on the committee relatively often.
  • Think positive thoughts! It’s the best way to avoid succumbing to your nerves. Remember, you are the one who knows the most about this topic. You and only you have worked for months on your Undergraduate or Master’s thesis. Trust yourself! You’ve studied your research, you’ve specialized in reading on the subject, and gained a lot of knowledge.

We wish you all the luck in the world… and one last tip: end with a sincere smile, because everybody likes a smile.

Natalia De la Peña Frade
Natalia De la Peña Frade
Content creator: I try to write things you like to read
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3 Responses

  1. One of the best guidelines for a successful presentation (I see that most of them do fit the post-graduation as well).
    It covers most of the aspects, glad to have the chance to pass by this masterpiece!

    1. Hi, Grégoire, we are happy to read this.

      Thanks and have an awesome day! 🚀

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