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Poster presentations provide the opportunity for the presenter and the audience to talk with one another. Each presenter is provided with a freestanding bulletin board or a small table top on which to display his or her poster. Usually a space 3.5 feet high by 3 feet wide is available for the poster materials. (Examples of poster arrangements.)
A relatively large number of posters will be displayed during each poster session. During the designated period, the audience moves through the poster displays, stopping to interact with those who are presenting research that is of special interest to them. Thus, the interaction between the presenters and the audience is likely to be more meaningful than is typically the case in paper sessions. Therefore, when constructing your poster, remember to utilize the opportunities provided by this method of presentation. Successful poster presentations are those which achieve both coverage and clarity.
One nice way to prepare a poster is to use PowerPoint. You may want to print this document so you can keep it at hand when you prepare you poster with PowerPoint.
Have you provided all the obvious information? Will a casual observer walk away understanding your major findings after a quick perusal of your material? Will a more careful reader learn enough to ask informed questions?
In addition to a title/author label and abstract, most successful posters provide brief statements of introduction, method, subjects, procedure, results, and conclusions. Ask yourself, “What would I need to know if I were viewing this material for the first time?” and then state that information clearly.
Is the sequence of information evident? Indicate the ordering of your material with numbers, letters, or arrows, when necessary. Is the content being communicated clearly? Keep it simple. Place your major points in the poster and save the nonessential but interesting sidelights for informal discussion. Be selective. Your final conclusions or summary should leave observers focused on a concise statement of your most important findings.
1. Construct the poster to include the title, the author(s), affiliation(s), and a description of the research, highlighting the major elements that are covered in the abstract. (Examples of poster arrangements.)
2. Minimize detail and try to use simple, jargon free statements.
3. Remember that pictures, tables, and figures are amenable to poster display
4. If you can, use color in your visuals.
5. Make sure your lettering is neatly done and is large enough to be read from a distance, i.e., do not simply pin up a set of typed pages.
6. Consider using a flow chart or some other method of providing the viewer with a guide to inspecting your display.
7. Don’t overwhelm the viewer with excessive amounts of information; rather, construct a poster display that enhances conversation.
8. Be ready to put up and take down your poster at designated times.
If specified by your instructor, prepare a printed version of your paper (about 25) with the details of the research for those who may want more information about your project. Be sure to indicate on the paper who you are and the conference source reference (date, place, purpose of the conference).
It is an honor to have the opportunity to present at a research conference (or a class presentation). You have an obligation to prepare a neat, well organized display and to be present at your display for the entire poster session period. With a little thought and creativity, you can make your presentation a very pleasing one for both you and your audience.
Examples of poster arrangements:
(Click on the picture for a larger view.)