It’s the time of year when many graduate students defend their dissertations. Many students are anxious about the defense, especially the part where they have to fight a snake. Here is a FAQ that addresses common concerns about the ‘snake fight’ portion of your dissertation defense. I recommend that you check it out. You don’t want the snake fight portion of your defense to go like this.
Note that the advice in the linked article applies mainly to North American and British defenses. In many northern European countries, an external examiner known as the ‘opponent’ fights the snake on behalf of the student. In such cases, the quality of your thesis determines, not the size of the snake you have to fight, but rather the snake-fighting skill level of the opponent. If you write a very good dissertation, your opponent will be a skilled snake-fighter. If you write a weak dissertation, your opponent will be afraid of snakes.