Useful Poster Board Presentation Ideas

While participation in the conferenced is not the worst thing that can happen during your academic career, but it is the presentation that makes those conferences so challenging. And while you are most likely to find this article looking for some poster board presentation ideas, let us not only share some useful advice on presentation poster but also suggest some ideas on the presentation process itself. So what that is the purpose of the presentation anyway? Apart from the academic networking experience you can get, any conference and presentation is a personal challenge for a student or scholar. It also helps to:

  • inform the general public or academic circle about the findings of the particular research;
  • get the feedback/peer review without sending numerous letters and copies of your research;
  • meet the people who are interested in the topic and establish the ground for further cooperation;
  • promote yourself and find the connection you may need while applying for the job or choosing the graduate school.

As you can see, the benefits of the participation in the conferences are numerous and can motivate virtually any person.

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Advantages of Poster Presentation Comparing to a Traditional Oral Presentation

One may wonder what is the difference between the traditional presentation or speech and the poster presentation. Let us bring you 5 most important aspect that makes poster presentation better:

  1. If you are taking part in the large conference, the potential audience is bigger compared to the segmented and separated presentations given.

  2. A great poster can draw the attention of the people who are not expert in the field, whereas a boring title in the schedule is less likely to make people visit the presentation.

  3. One-on-one communication makes it easier to spark the interest as you can observe the individual reaction of the person you are talking to.

  4. You have more time (the poster session might take from 45 minutes to 4 hours depending on the type of conference), comparing to 15-30 minutes of traditional presentation.

  5. You can answer more questions and establish more connections by getting to actual people rather than hearing their questions. Now that we have established the benefits of this form, let us clear out the purpose of the visual presentation.

The poster, which serves as a visual representation of your research and aid for the presentation, is meant to:

  • attract the attention;
  • provide the shortcut to the data presented (via graphs);
  • enhance the understanding of the subject and contribute to the memories.

It should clearly deliver the message you need people to understand and take away. However you have to be honest and not disclose any conflicting results, or information you believe is ’not significant’.

Structure of Poster Presentation

The Format of the Poster Presentation

There are several software options you can use while working on your poster, but the vast majority of students use PowerPoint. So before we explain how to make a poster presentation in power point, let us remind you to pay attention to:

Formatting

If we are talking about the PowerPoint presentation poster, there are two basic sizes: 36” x 48” or 48” x 56” display. If not specified otherwise, you can use these measurements to create a poster.

Fonts

While we have rarely seen any conference participation requirements regarding the fonts to be used for the poster, there are general recommendation like

  • try to avoid using ALL CAPS as it is both hard to read and makes you feel like someone is yelling at you.
  • never mix more than 2 fonts. Otherwise, the poster will look messy, cluttered and whimsical, none of each makes you look professional. Instead, use the fonts like sans serif font (e.g., Arial, Helvetica) for the headings/title and a serif font (e.g., Palatino, Times New Roman) for the body text.
  • use generic fonts (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) because they are common for the most operating system and tend to be cross-platformed (meaning the printing lab will not have problems with opening your poster).
  • use font size big enough to be read from at least 5 steps, at least 18 pt. or even bigger.
  • make the fonts type and size match throughout the poster (e.g., all subheading should be Times New Roman, 36 pt. bold).

Wording and Texts

While we strongly recommend you to prepare a text for your poster separately from your research, we would also like to draw your attention to the following:

  1. Give less information but make it more valuable.

  2. Use bullets.

  3. Check your grammar and spelling.

  4. Use the active voice, but avoid I-forms ( as there were at least 2 of you, meaning you and your instructor).

Design

While there are a lot of arguments about the design standards regarding the posters, there are few things to keep in mind:

  • the graphics should be of a high quality, with labels and legends next to them.
  • photographs and charts should only be used when they present the information better than words.
  • never place the graphics in the background letting it overlaps with the text (it is almost impossible to read).
  • have plenty of an empty space.
  • be careful with the colors you choose, sticking with a more neutral color scheme and few color accents.
  • opt for a light-colored background with dark text on it

How to Create a Poster in PowerPoint

The latest update seems to be even better than everything we have seen before, offering more templates and some new functions. However, all the basic feature you would need to create a poster remain unchanged, yet slightly reorganized. If you cannot find the certain option, simply click Help and search for it. Do not forget to save the poster in the format compatible with older versions of the software.

Printing Your Presentation Poster

In most cases, the material you will end up using will be thick paper. However, at least think about industrial fabrics or plastic as a more durable alternative. Moreover, if you are participating in the environmental conference, be smart and choose recycled paper. Yes, you will be limited in the color, but the gesture is worth it. Ethical Aspect of the Poster Presentation There is a certain sensitive aspect many scholars avoid talking about as they are uncomfortable or may seem obvious to some of them. So while attending the conference and giving a poster presentation remember to:

  1. Never forget to reference the ideas you take from the work of others, even if you are speaking.

  2. Use your poster only once and never plan to utilize it for the second time. People tend to remember visual imagery and you might find yourself embarrassed if someone realizes they have seen the same poster half a year ago in the different place.

  3. Dress appropriately. Some people say that they used a detail in their outfit to match the colors of the poster and it turned out to be useful.

  4. Wear a tag with your name on it, so the person willing to ask the question could address the question.

  5. Do not forget to greet people who came close to have a look at your poster but do not rush the conversation. Let them read and if they look interested, engage them in the discussion.

  6. If you have handouts, never force people to take them. It is rude and unprofessional. Politely ask whether the person might be interested in the further reading and only after that, offer the handout.

  7. Always have a digital copy of your research, poster, and handout with you (preferably in the cloud storage). So if someone is interested, and asks for the copy, you can e-mail it immediately, engaging them in the conversation later on.

  8. If the person leaves their contacts, make sure to send them an e-mail even if you are not interested in the cooperation.

  9. Do not get depressed over the criticism. One of the purposes of you presenting your research is a review so you can make your project better. If the criticism is constructive, thank the person who delivered it and asks for the permission to contact them for a consultation later on. You never know what experts can you meet.

  10. If you receive the question you cannot answer immediately, say something polite like: ’That's an interesting question. We have not addressed the issue from this perspective yet. Would you mind sharing your ideas?’ Nothing makes people more excited that a chance to show off.

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Miscellaneous Poster Presentation Tips

While transporting your poster, make sure to secure it from the physical damage, water, and sunlight. Add your contact information on the container with your poster in case it gets lost. If you are traveling to the conference, you may also like the idea of publishing out there. Try to locate your printing options that are close to the place of the conference. After the conference, make sure to check whether you are supposed to be there when they take the poster down. On the other hand, you may contact the organizers to ask whether the poster may be displayed for a while.

So as you can see, among all the poster board presentation ideas we have shared we you today, there are several that stand out: make smart choices, think about the audience, never rush the conversation and make your poster look professional. There is a certain level of expertise required to successfully make a poster on your own, so if you think that the pressure is too high, no one here will blame you. Simply place your request right now and receive professional assistance with your poster.