My preparation for my PhD viva has officially started.
On my desk, I now have a Wiro-bound copy of my thesis, sticky notes, index tabs, highlighters, and a couple of guidebooks on viva tips.
I first added index tabs on each section, and I have been re-reading the thesis while creating a page-by-page summary. At this stage, I spend only a couple of hours reading each day, but I will begin to prepare my answers to viva questions next month.
So, what am I doing at the moment?
Most of my time has been spent preparing my conference presentation. The physical format of the conference was cancelled and it has been moved online. I still cannot imagine what its online format will look like…
But, regarding communication, we will be relying on visual and audio materials. I must make sure to balance relevant and less relevant elements in slides, and ensure the clarity of my message. At previous conferences, I realised how researchers’ non-verbal cues were telling more; I noticed how they had dressed, and watched how they greeted each other, listened to others speaking, chose their words when speaking, and talked with the audience.
The other day, while having dinner, Luca said that if he could travel back to his student days, he would like to do more networking with people in the same field. I was, in fact, thinking exactly the same thing; my only regret is that I should have networked more seriously during my PhD programme. It will never be too late to start on it. The opportunities to meet researchers in the same field and in person were really special.