Successful Presentation Poster

Almost any research project will end up with you presenting the results. When high school and college research project are more often presented to the class, university and post-graduate students have to participate in all sorts of the conferences, making sure their research is noticed and discussed. Presentation poster became an inevitable part of participation in the events like that, so even if you are not giving up a speech, you still can share your insights and ideas with a general public.

What Is a Poster Presentation?

A poster is a formal, visual way to present your work to the like-minded people and conference attendees. It provides information through the text, images, graphs, statistics and other visual aids. A good poster will also let those who read it get the idea of your research without getting into the depth and interact upon their reading.

Posters can come in different sizes (depending on the conference requirements), should be hand on the wall or presenting board and might be displayed after the conference is finished.

What Is Expected of the Presentation Poster?

Traditionally, your poster will be presented along with others, and you will have to be present during the entire time. So, you don't have to squeeze your whole research into this poster, using the 8pt font. Instead, think about the following:

  1. What are the most important parts of the research that I need to highlight?
  2. Who might be interested in my research? Is there any aspect I am not certain about?
  3. What aspect of the research or my work needs to be explained?
  4. Are there any technical requirements regarding my poster, its content, and layout?
  5. What are the traditional colors for my discipline of the field of study and how can I set myself apart from the rest?

While these are just some of the questions you need to think about, there is one in particular that you need to focus on.

Who Is My Audience?

In other words, who will be reading my poster and what would I like them to do. Please, feel free to skip this section if you are participating because you were forced to. However, you are genuinely interested in achieving the best results, take your time and answer the following:

  • what reaction do I expect my readers to have?
  • what actions would I like them to make?
  • how can they contact me after the conference?

If you have clear answers to the questions above, it will be easier for you to plan your poster respectively.

*For those of you who are presenting your research to the class, keep in mind that you all have been studying the same information, so there is no need to focus on generic facts or introduce basic terminology.

Content to Conclude in a Presentation Poster

Moving on to the information you should include in your presentation poster, let us provide you with a sample list of things people generally tend to include:

1. The title, names of the contributors (if the research project was prepared by a group of people) in the alphabetical order. Your title should be related to the research you have carried out, however, may not be an exact match. Make it catchy and intriguing to get people reading.

2. Institutional logo and name of the school. If you are representing a specific lab, faculty or department, you may use their logo as well. This helps people identify you if they fail to remember your name.

3. Introduction section, that is supposed to provide some background information and acquaint the reader with some basic terms.

4. The methodology of the research should be presented next with regards to the research question or problem set.

5. The results and conclusions of this particular research. You not only have to convince people that you achieved certain results but also explain why are they important and what are the practical implications of the results.

6. Acknowledgments and contacts. If someone would like to learn more about your research or fund some further work, they should be able to easily contact you.

Some people believe that you should also include your abstract into the poster, however, this is highly disputable, as it is most likely published in the conference booklet or can be found online. If you believe that you should share it as well, consider preparing a handout with some important information and follow-up reading.

Some students think that they can simply copy the parts of their research and paste them into the poster, however, we would recommend you to refrain from such practices. Instead, take your time and answer the set of questions below. They will help you create the text for your presentation that is both easy to read and describes your research.

  1. What is the problem you where exploring?
  2. What groups, species or environments are affected by the problem?
  3. Why is the issue you are investigating important?
  4. What the correlation between your work and any other research carried out within the field of study?
  5. What is your personal contribution to the field?
  6. What approach have you used to analyze the problem?
  7. What are the results of your research?
  8. Why are they important and how do they help solve the above-mentioned problem?
  9. What are the practical implication of the results and your research in general?
  10. What is the conclusion of your research?
  11. Shall there be any further analysis and investigation of the subject?

If you are not certain about any of these questions, contact your instructor or research mentor in order to clarify them. You may also send them a copy of your draft. This Way you will be able to correct any mistakes earlier without having to change everything. Once you receive their remarks, make sure to analyze them and make any necessary changes.

Design and Layout Specifics

Once you have the content prepared, it's time for you work on the layout of your poster. Some people find it helpful to sketch the poster layout by hand, however, it is only useful if you have done it before. Otherwise, we recommend you to look for some presentation poster samples online in order to get at least a basic idea of how your poster should look like. We also prepared some general guideline that can be useful regardless of the subjects or topic you are covering:

  1. Use the fonts that are large enough to be read from the distance, but also comfortable for reading up close. The body text, the font size should be between 20 and 36 pt. depending on the word count and size of your poster.
  2. Avoid using creative fonts, as they may make you look unprofessional and they are also difficult to read. If we are talking about the academic poster, it might be better to use simple, serif-based fonts.
  3. Try to limit the amount of text written in ALL UPPER CASE, as well as the information written in Italics.
  4. Use headings, subheadings, and lists when applicable, as they create the structure of your poster and make it easier to read. You might want to use a different font for that or simply opt for different font-weight (e.g. bold or semi-bold text).
  5. Break long paragraphs down into the smaller ones, and avoid using very long sentences as well.
  6. Chose colors that are comfortable to read. Remember, that colorblind people cannot tell red from green, so using those color with grey might not be the best idea.
  7. Use images and graphs with good quality, making sure they will be printed well. Their size should be big enough so that they can be read from at least 3 to 5 steps away from the poster.
  8. Give very visual a number or name, so when you refer to them while making your presentation your audience can easily identify what image you describe.

How to Make a Poster in PowerPoint?

While there are several applications that offer the similar option, one of the easiest ways to create a presentation poster is PowerPoint by Microsoft. If you haven't purchased the package yet, you may find some of the alternative good enough not to pay a fortune. Try looking for OpenOffice, or check out Google Slides. If you are a Mac user, you may even use Keynote to create a poster.

First, define the size of the poster you need. Look for Page Setup which is typically located under File menu or Design. Before you choose the size, you may need to check the conference requirements and consult the place you are going to print your poster at. Some of them require the file to be twice as much as the poster itself, while others may enlarge the initial file to match the size of the poster (however the quality of the enlarged poster is doubtful).

Specify the size of the file and remember that your poster should be fitted into one slide. Insert all the visuals you are going to use and create a block for the parts of the text you are planning to use. Keep in mind that colors on the screen and the printed palette may differ, so try to use the contrasting colors for text and background.

Once you have finished your poster, you will be able to save it in the variety of formats. You may need to save your poster as a PDF file as well, securing all the fonts and design elements, so you do not have to worry about the cross-platform problems. Some people report that PowerPoint 2018 poster template option allows you to create a PDF file that can be later edited, but we have not found any proof of that.

Before printing the final copy, you may print out the small copy of the Letter size just to check the layout and get the basic feeling of how your poster shall look like one printed. If you want to make any changes, it is the right time to do it.

Preparing for Your Presentation

If you have successfully printed your poster, the next step is to prepare for your presentation. While the time you will have may vary from 45 minutes to 4 hours depending on the conference, you will have plenty of time to have at least several conversations, so plan your time in advance:

  • introduce yourself briefly;
  • prepare a short description of the project, focusing on the initial interest in the research;
  • present the result and finding of your project rather than general information from the field of study;
  • practice talking to people rather than your poster, try not to avoid eye contact but do not let yourself stare;
  • consider preparing a handout for more information than you could it into the poster;
  • never forget to thank people for the interest in your work and poster.

Remember that you do not have to stand in front of your poster, but rather next to it. Keep calm and try to smile once someone reaches you. Give them at least 30 seconds to browse through your poster before reaching out to them. If you see that the person is not willing to engage in the discussion (for whatever reasons they have), simply offer the leaflet and thank them for attention. You do not have to start the discussion with every attendee coming your way.

So as you can see, the perfect poster not only presents the results of your work but can also communicate a certain message and help you create a good first impression. If you are lucky, it may even help you get funding for your further study. However, many students find all these preparation extremely daunting and boring. And this is where offers professional assistance, making sure your research is presented in the best way possible. Not only do we offer high-quality assistance, but we also guarantee an on-time delivery and the impeccable quality of your services.

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