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General Poster Presentation Guidelines and Tips

If you were looking for a list of practical and first-hand poster presentation guidelines, then has a present for you. Not only will we explain the specifics of the presentation poster, but will also teach you how to create it on your own.

So let us begin with the definition of a presentation poster, which, in simple terms, is a visual representation of the results of one's research project held as a part of the course or a postgraduate program.

Technical Specifications of a Poster

Generally, a presentation poster is a piece of thick paper with the size of A0 (approximately 46.8 inches high x 33.1 inches wide) or the smaller format of A1 (23.39 x 33.11 inches respectively) hanging vertically (so-called portrait orientation).

Usually, you have to mount your poster on the display board or attach it by hanging. Even though the paper seems like the most obvious choice, you may consider printing your presentation poster on the thin plastic or industrial fabrics as these are the materials more resistant to fading or damage.

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Structure and Content of a Poster Presentation

Since you are preparing a presentation for a research project you have carried out, it is logical to assume that the structure of your poster will bear some sort of resemblance to the research paper itself.

There are no definite rules or strict guidelines, however, most participants and young researchers find the following structure to be the one that makes the most sense:

  • title of the research project (it can also be a title of your presentation and might differ from the title of a research project/paper);
  • authors' names and positions (status within the certain academic institution);
  • abstract and/or introduction that is supposed to interest the reader in the subject, bring up the research question and illustrate the need for the research itself;
  • methodology of the research and an approach was chosen. This section is supposed to briefly describe the way a particular research project was handled;
  • results of the research along with some recommendations (the change that is to be made or the need for further research);
  • conclusion that specifies how the results correlate with the research question;
  • references (briefly describe what scholar contributed to the theoretical basis of your research);
  • contact information (first and last name, e-mail, probably the phone number. You should also consider putting a QR code so people can easily get your contacts information without having to re-type everything).

We know how hard it may be for some students to cut the parts of their research out in order to fit the information on the poster. In order to help you decide what information should be included, here are some questions to help you start:

  1. Pick one of the results that bears the greatest significance both for you and community. Why is it important or interesting?
  2. How can you visually share the results or finding of the research project with the attendees or listeners?
  3. What parts of my speech will refer to the poster and vice versa?
  4. What is the primary target and what message would you like the audience to remember?
  5. What impression would you like to make?

Important Poster Presentation Tips

Make your text eligible. This refers both to the fonts you are planning to use and the content of your poster. Remember that all those beautiful hand-written fonts are appropriate for blogs or wedding invitations, but they do not belong to the academic presentation poster. Second, try to avoid long and complicated sentences as they make it almost impossible to quickly read the poster, forcing people to leave rather than engage in the conversation.

Never give too much. One of the tricks my professor once shared: if you explain everything clearly, there is no need to engage in the discussion, neither to ask any questions. If you would like people to talk to you, leave the room for questions and debates.

Use visuals carefully. While they are a great way to present the finding or certain numerical data, as one chart can contain the numbers from a big spreadsheet, you have to remember that most people find it complicated to read charts. So the thing you have to do is provide a description of every image. However, you if have to stick with a traditional word limit (under 800 words) you may find yourself spending them on imagery descriptions only.

Prepare photos in a good quality. Depending on the size of your poster, the final size of an image on it may vary from 15 to 25 cm by the longer size, so in order to have a sharp image in a good quality, you have to carefully choose initial photos and insert them properly.

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How to Make a Poster in PowerPoint 2019

Most of the software that is used for creating poster presentations is quite similar, and the only difference that the new PowerPoint has comparing to some older versions is that the Page Setup is hidden under the Design section now. Most of the features are the same yet might be rearranged. And the same as you had in older versions, the Save as… (Export) offers to the variety of file extension to choose from.

Poster Presentation Ideas

There are two things we wanted to share with you before you leave. First, that the color palette you choose is extremely important. You may look for the industry-related websites and printed magazines and get a color scheme that resembles them. This way you will be able to draw readers attention as they will be looking at something that resembles things they have already seen.

You should also think about leaflets or any other type of handouts, as they will help you provide people with more information and give them a follow-up reading. You should also include the contact information in case someone would like to continue the discussion.

As you can see, preparing a presentation poster on your own is not that complicated. However, if you have no time to deal with all the details, offers professional academic assistance. It is safe, confidential and more than affordable.

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