- Convey an idea to a group of people in an informal setting.
- Create ways to network through interaction between author and viewer.
You have two primary goals in your poster presentation:
- Communicate your technical knowledge and the results of your work.
- Communicate the skills you would bring to an employment opportunity.
Creating an Effective Poster Presentation
Know your audience
Don't underestimate the intelligence or overestimate the interest of your audience. Capture their interest and their attention.
Identify your objective
What is the purpose of your presentation? Write out your objective until it is concise and clear, then keep it before you and relate all material to it.
Unify the presentation
Address a single, problem, issue or question and support the solution, premise or proposition with examples of data. The degree to which a presentation favorably impresses an audience is often inversely proportional to the number of points covered.
Know your purpose
Any oral presentation to augment your poster should be made in 10-15 minutes or less. Questions that can be answered quickly should be handled during the oral presentation, while lengthy discussions should be deferred until a later, more appropriate time. Illustrations should be correct and self-explanatory.
Organize the material
Displays should flow logically, from one point to the next. If an abrupt transition is necessary, explain why and make sure it is clear to your audience.
Stand in the audience
Detach yourself from your intimate knowledge of the subject and consider the following:
- Are the points clear without detailed explanation?
- Is all the material relevant to the central theme?
- Do the illustrations clarify the point or obscure it?
- Does the material flow logically?
- Is it self-explanatory without oral presentation?
- Rehearse your presentation with colleagues unfamiliar with your work. Solicit their feedback on the clarity and how well you are communicating visually and orally.
Some final tips
- Displays should lead your audience into active participation and greater concentration on your message.
- Audiences generally understand approximately 25-30% of what they hear, but 60-75% of what they see.
- A distinct advantage to poster presentation is being able to focus primary attention on displays which viewers can study as long as they like.
- Oral delivery should be supplemental in nature.
- Responses to questions should involve your display as much as possible.
- Each graphic in your poster should communicate your message, be as simple as possible, be read and understood from a distance of 4-6 feet, flow logically, and be in appropriate sequence.
- Fonts should be simple. Title fonts should be 72-pt minimum, headers should be 40-pt minimum, text should be 30-pt minimum. Can your poster be followed from a distance of 4-6 feet?
- Captions and legends should be minimized.
- Illustrations should be simple, large, and clearly labeled.
- Use color effectively, but don't get too busy. Confine yourself to 3-4 colors.
- Illustrations and lettering should attract viewers from 10-15 feet away and be readable from 4-6 feet away.
- Have copies of your abstract available as handouts.
- Approximate dimensions for the poster is 4' x 6'.