Pointers for Posters
Pointers for Posters (PDF)
A Poster Session is an ideal medium for an informal exchange of ideas and discussion with your colleagues. The more relaxed atmosphere and longer presentation time of the Poster Session allow far greater interaction with interested visitors than with the traditional oral paper, as well as presentation of material not suited for slides and attention to greater detail. A poster presentation, although similar in many respects to an oral presentation, requires some modification in preparation. The following suggestions are intended to help you prepare an effective poster display, which will mutually benefit you and your audience.
- Three basic criteria for an effective display, aside from scientific content, are that it be attractive, well organized, and largely self-explanatory.
- The appearance -- both of the display as a whole and of individual illustrations — is obviously important. A cluttered and disorganized display will detract from the scientific content.
- During the time when booths are unattended -- and even while you are present — many people will review your material without benefit of verbal explanation. Thus, it is essential that your display be well organized and self-explanatory.
- Layout of the elements to read from top-left to bottom-right and sequential labeling of elements will greatly aid the visitor.
- Many visitors will not have read your abstract and/or will not have a copy of the abstracts with them. It is recommended that you have available handout copies of an abstract or somewhat expanded explanation of your data and conclusions. Additional handout material, such as reprints of recently published, closely related papers may also be desirable.
- In constructing your display, you should consider colors, mounting, lettering, and the size of individual elements. Careful use of colors in graphics and mounting materials not only adds to the overall attractiveness of the presentation, but also aids with organization and flow.
- Pre-mounting on appropriately sized boards can be helpful when assembling your poster -- and important in protecting your material during transport. Elements can be constructed to fit in your suitcase or "carry-on" suit bags or artist's portfolio.
- Figure captions should be as brief as practical and pre-mounted to the figures. Take care to make lettering of titles, subheadings, and legends sufficiently large to be read from about five feet away. Lettering of the main title should be at least 2" high and lettering of subheadings and legends at least 1" high.
- The clarity, grammar and organization of written text that you incorporate in your poster presentation are very important in the conveyance of your ideas and information. It is advisable, particularly if English is not your primary language, for you to have one or more colleagues review and proofread any planned text before you construct your posters