Assume that your proposal is okay as is, and be open to suggestions. If someone asks a difficult or confusing question, feel free to ask for clarification or even to answer the question with a question. Stay focused on the “design,” which is the methodology section or chapter. Take extra precautions that your proposal follows your school’s written guidelines regarding formatting.

I find often that when students are criticized, many of them immediately agree. That is a mistake, because sometimes the criticism or recommendation is off-base, perhaps because the committee person or the chair doesn’t really understand the student’s intention. That is why I always tell my clients not to agree to any changes right away. Instead, make a comment like, “That’s interesting” or “Let me look into that.” At the very least, that delays agreeing to a suggestion or criticism until you have investigated if it is really the right thing to do. Then, if you believe it doesn’t make sense, you can come up with a logical, rational response to inform the committee that you are moving the design in a different direction. In such cases, delay is your best bet.