Posters are widely used in the academic community, and most conferences include poster presentations in their program. Research posters summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicise it and generate discussion. The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author.
What makes a good poster?
- Important information should be readable from about 10 feet away
- Title is short and draws interest
- Text is clear and to the point
- Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines make it easy to read
- Effective use of graphics, colour and fonts
- Consistent and clean layout
- Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation
Where do I start?
Answer these three questions:
- What is the most important/interesting/astounding finding from my research project?
- How can I visually share my research with conference attendees? Should I use charts, graphs, photos, images?
- What kind of information can I convey during my talk that will complement my poster?
Planning your poster
- Good Content - well researched topic
- Structure - Decide on main headings, titles to be used and layout
- Visual Impact - Assemble images and graphics into one place and make note of any references
- Clarity - Font size, sixe of poster and proof read.
What do you want to say?
|Reporting on Research?||Reporting on Solution to a Problem?|
How to make an Academic Poster in PowerPoint
Have a logical starts point, and groups related information. Headings should be clearly identified using colour fill for text box or larger text to identify each. Have a colour theme for your poster and keep borders, shading etc consistent.
Font - choose a font that is easy to read at a distance. Most of the standard fonts are fine for this (e.g.Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Calibri). Avoid mixing too many fonts as this can look messy. Two is often ideal; one for the headings and one for the main text.
Type size - remember that your poster will be read by someone standing at about a metre away so the text will need to be legible at a distance. Use large type sizes; the following examples are at 24 point and 36 point and can be clearly read at a distance.
Titles and headings will need to be larger than your main text. Developing a hierarchy of type sizes can help to differentiate between your main body text and the other text elements in your poster. Keep the number of type sizes to a minimum to avoid over-cluttering your poster. Apply your hierarchy to all aspects
of your poster design to ensure consistency.
Line spacing - using one and a half or double spacing between lines of text greatly increases the legibility of your poster design.
Alignment - most word-processing packages give you the option of aligning your text in different ways on the page; the main choices are left, right, centre and justified. Avoid mixing alignments as this can look very awkward. Left aligned is the easiest to read, particularly when using large type.
Case - text in UPPER CASE can be very difficult to read, even at close distances, and is best avoided.
The amount of text you use will depend on the purpose of the poster and the message you are trying to convey. Use the minimum amount of text you need to convey your message. Be realistic. People don’t read the fine print. They look at the graphics and read the titles, just like they skim a newspaper.