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BRS WORKSHOP | Thesis Defense Training

PLEASE NOTE: This course is now offered as an online seminar, using the platform BigBlueButton. 
IMPORTANT: Dates and times for this course have been modified. 

In their thesis defense, doctoral candidates have to present their research to the board of examiners and then answer critical questions. This course is designed to prepare doctoral candidates optimally for this situation.

In the first part of the course the participants get practical tips for their introductory presentation: how to structure the presentation, how to build up the central argument, what language to use, etc. 

The second part of the course deals with typical problems that occur during the discussion: How to respond to criticism and "killerquestions", how to deal with stage fright and black-outs, etc. In the third part, participants get the chance to give their presentation and to receive feedback from the group and from the trainer.



  • Tips and exercises for a convincing presentation
  • Types of questions (counter-arguments, critical questions etc.) and how to

deal with them

  • Setting and roles during the defence
  • How to deal with stage fright and blackouts
  • Presentations by participants and feedback from the group and the trainer

The participants...

  • give a convincing and well-structured presentation
  • deal in a confident manner with counter-arguments and critical questions
  • are well prepared and feel confident about their thesis defence

All contents will be developed interactively, and they will be applied directly to the participants' topics. After the course participants can schedule an individual appointment with the trainer where they can
discuss aspects of their thesis defense presentation (introduction, structure etc.).

09:00 – 09:30 Introduction
09:30 – 11:00 Basics of scientific argumentation
11:00 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:15 The logical structure of the thesis defense presentation
12:15 – 13:30 The introduction of the presentation
Afternoon - Exercises

09:00 – 09:45 Results from exercises from day 1
09:45 – 10:00 Rhetoric and presentation techniques
10:00 – 11:00 Mini-presentations from participants
11:00 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 How to handle difficult questions
12:30 – 12:45 How to deal with nervousness
12:45 – 13:00 General tips for your preparation
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 – 17:00 Full presentations from one or two participants

After the course
Individual discussions with feedback on elements of the thesis defense presentation (e.g. the introduction, the argument structure)

Registration Deadline: 15 February 2021
Instructor: Jonas Zahn
Date & Time: 25.-26.02.2021
25.02.2021: 09:00 AM - 1:30 PM
26.02.2021: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Course language: English
Module: This workshop can be credited in the BRS Qualification Programme Module "Academic Soft Skills".

Conditions of participation

This workshop is primarily aimed towards doctoral candidates of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Participation in this workshop is subject to a participation fee. For doctoral candidates of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, this is a fee of 30,00 €. Please note the applicable conditions of participation according to the Terms of Usage for Qualification Courses at the Bauhaus Research School. We will inform you about the payment modalities by e-mail after you have registered for the course here in the portal.

Depending on capacity, other members and affiliates of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, as well as external interested parties, can also participate in the qualification courses. Participation is also subject to a participation fee. If you are interested, please contact the Bauhaus Research School directly in advance by e-mail to research-school@uni-weimar.de.


Bauhaus Research School, Marienstr. 14. Room 201



1. Termin:
Donnerstag, 25. Februar 2021, 09:00 Uhr - 13:00 Uhr
2. Termin:
Freitag, 26. Februar 2021, 09:00 Uhr - 17:00 Uhr

Samstag, 01. Februar 2020, 00:00 Uhr
Sonntag, 14. Februar 2021, 23:59 Uhr
Montag, 15. Februar 2021, 23:59 Uhr
Maximalanzahl Teilnehmer/innen:
30,00 €


Bauhaus Research School
Marienstr. 14
99423 Weimar

Tel.: +49 (0) 36 43/58 41 00
Fax: +49 (0) 36 43/58 41 01
E-Mail: research-school[at]uni-weimar.de


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