Posters are required for workshops, conferences and orientation events. Especially for young researchers, posters can be useful to promote their research and gain experience. As Paul Goldberg points out, it is easier to learn about a person’s work at a poster session than at a talk. This makes tips about a decent poster presentation all the more important:
- Ensure that the poster guidelines for the event are clearly known. Most events have specific guidelines about poster size. Standard sizes for posters are A0 (84.1 x 118.9cm) and A1 (59.4 x 84.1cm).
- The purpose of posters is to encourage interest in your research, so it should look interesting and eye catching! However, the poster should be able to explain itself by having sufficient content.
- The content should be modified according to the audience.
- There should not be too much text or look too ‘busy’. Simple backgrounds are better. Line spacing is preferable, too.
- The material should be structured into sections just like in a paper. This includes a title, introduction, research methodology, results and conclusion.
- The poster should be comfortable to view from about 5 feet.
- Simple posters with only a few colours are better. I stick to black, white, red and blue.
- The poster should include the contact details of the authors to enable further communication.
- Posters may be made in latex or PowerPoint.
- Lamination of posters gives a nice, professional image.
- If the printing is done by a shop or university department, then it is advisable to keep a margin of a day or two before the display event to avoid last minute tensions. This is what my colleague didn’t realise until too late, much to his dismay.
- It is good practice to acknowledge the collaborators and sponsors on your poster.
- It may be helpful to have some smaller handouts to give at the poster session.
- One may want to utilize a successful template instead of building things from scratch.
- The poster stall looks empty with out the presenter! It is expected that the poster presenter will be next to the poster and ready to discuss and explain it.
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