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Poster Presentation Ideas

Every once in a while, most students have to take part in different conferences, science fairs, and seminars, where they have to present and discuss the findings for their research projects, present the ideas on their coursework or take a stand to present some poster making ideas. We would like to talk about an academic presentation poster: what is it, how to prepare and how to present.

Definition of Presentation Poster

In order to create a successful poster, you need to understand what it really is and learn to address the key values of this format of writing. So a presentation poster is a visual representation of the results of academic research to the general public and other scholars in order to receive peer review and interest people in the subject.

This type of academic presentations has become more popular over the years, becoming an important part of conferences, science fairs, and academic collaboration. Rooting in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, presentation poster is not more popular among social sciences and arts.

How to Make a Poster Presentation - a Detailed Guide

In order to create a poster for presentation, you have to do your research first and have the text and results prepared before you begin working on your presentation poster.

Defining the Goals of Presentation Poster

Before you begin working on your presentation poster, you need to remember that there are certain things your poster should cover:

  1. Content. You do not have to re-print you whole research on your poster, rather an opposite approach. Choose only those pieces of information that are required by the structure or will get someone's attention and make that read further. Do not forget that your text should be cohesive and have a summary section.
  2. Visual interest. You have to remember that your poster should be both noticeable and stylish, so before you begin creating it and choosing the colors, take a look at everything you will have to include (photos, graphs, and charts) and think what colors will go best with all the data you already have.
  3. Call to action. Many people keep forgetting that they need to include the call-to-action part in order to help people make the next step. Do you want them to evaluate and provide you with the feedback? Prepare a printed form for people to fill in and engage them in the discussion. Would like people to donate? Make it clear and provide convenient ways to contribute to your research. Would like to boast more about the results of your research? Provide attendees with more reading material (handouts or website to check out).

Characteristics of a Great Poster

It may seem pretty simple to create a poster, however, a good poster will not only present the results and findings of your project but will also give a lasting impression about the work done. Consider the following:

  • information is easy to read and comprehend, the wording is intriguing yet easy to understand,
  • the colors on the poster should be natural and formal, creating a picture that is attractive,
  • the results of your research should be presented in the academic fashion, yet be interesting to read.

Viewers and Readers

You will have to adapt your poster depending on the audience you will be presenting your poster too, meaning that general public will be less interested in technical details and more in the idea behind your research, whereas fellow scholars will be looking for details of the research project. You have to understand whether people who are looking at your research have some knowledge and expertise or not. This way you will be able to determine the depth of the research as well as plan on the information to be comprised.

Information to Include in Your Poster

While you may think that the more information you include, the better results you poster will achieve, but you have to understand that no one will be able to read your 50+ pages research on your poster. So in your to help you decide what information should be included, we have broken it into the following categories.

  • What has been done? This section should present your research question and the idea for the project itself. For a Science project, you will probably have a hypothesis and the results of the tests, whereas in some other disciplines you are most likely to be dealing with the claim and evidence to support your idea. Choose the most important parts of information to present and interest people in the further discussion.
  • How have you done it? This section is supposed to present brief information about the methods of your research and an approach chosen to carry it out. You may also enumerate certain approaches to the problem
  • Why was this research carried out? While this might well be your first section, explaining the reason behind this research or project is an important part that can give you some credit and express your passion for the subject matter.
  • Contributors. If you are supposed to include the list of people who funded your project or helped you with your research.

The important question here is, how to narrow down the information you should put on the poster? First, you need to remember that your information should be

Difference Between Poster and Research

One of our clients has asked what is the difference between the research project we have prepared on their behalf and the poster for the presentation. A research project is an academic writing piece, that addresses certain research question and suggests a solution within the given methodology, whereas presentation poster is a way to present the results of this research at the conference. This means that poster is a visual representation of the research results along with some data that can be understood by the audience and easily displayed to the public.

Presentation Poster Layout

Creating a good poster should be preceded by a careful examination of the data that is supposed to go into the poster as well as planning of the layout. There are three basic things you need to take care of text, images and blank spaces.

  • Text and headings

If we are talking about an 18” * 24” or 24” per 36” inches paper size, you have to carefully plan your fonts to make them eligible to read both from the distance and up close. You may want to use some of the basic fonts to make it easier to read. While heading should be big enough to catch the attention of a person passing by (approximately 72 pt.), the body text should be around 24 to 32 pt. Opt for dark colors of the main text (navy blue, grey, black).

  • Empty spots

Please remember, that there is the general rule that approximately 20 to 30 percent of your poster should be blank. You do not have to cram every single inch with a text or image, neither should you be scared of some empty spaces. Not only they help our eyes navigate easily, but also suggest the probable division between the sections of your poster.

  • Graphics

Every successful presentation poster is supposed to have a visual representation of the data presented in the research. If you have any statistical data, create graphs or charts rather than throwing in large spreadsheets with a vast amount of numerical data.

How Should You be Your Poster Laid Out?

Generally, English speaking readers find the information flow left-to-right and top-to-bottom the easiest way to comprehend the information and follow the flow. However, if we think of the poster like an upside-down triangle and set the information to guide the reader's view.

The main area should provide basic information like title, abstracts, results, while the second part should bring more information about the findings, leading to the final part with suggestions, acknowledgments and references.

How to Make Poster Easy to Read?

There is a list of certain things that will make any poster easier to read and follow, and in order to do so, we would recommend the following:

  • choose a font that is easy to read (e.g., Helvetica), making it big enough to read from at least one-meter distance.
  • if you have a list of things to be included, use number or bullets to separate them.
  • avoid using capital letters in the headings or body text, as it is both hard to read and impolite to some.
  • use a background that is a contrast to the color of your text and avoid letting the text flow around the image.

Poster Presentation Ideas You May Find Useful

While a digital poster should be prepared at least a week prior to your presentation, you should be able to have a printed copy on hands at least 3 days before the presentation. And while paper poster may seem as a most obvious choice, you may also find it useful to pay attention to plastic or similar materials, as they are more durable and less prone fading under the lights.

You have to remember that colors that are close to the spectrum to yellow are more likely to fade quickly leaving you with spaces of indefinite colors.

If you are participating in the conference, make sure to contact the person in charge and clarify the details: how will they hand your poster, will you be able to stand near, do they offer a little table for your handouts, etc.

How to Prepare for a Presentation?

Once you are done with preparing your poster you have to understand there is a presentation you have to work on. First of all, write down the text of your presentation and make sure you address each and every section of your poster.

If you have any larger pieces of information such as tables, numerous spreadsheets or large chunks of information, you may well consider printing a handout to go with your presentation.

The next step is learning your presentation or at least to the extent you can be interrupted and then start from the place you left.

Moving on, you may find it useful to record yourself on video camera. This will provide you with an opportunity to work on your body language, keep track of the time needed and match the tone of your voice to the content of your presentation.

Neither should you be reading from the poster itself. If you do not feel safe giving a speech, you may well prepare some notes and a plan to help you keep up with the flow.

There is also one important question: how long it takes for someone to read the info before you can engage them in the conversation. Typically, a person needs 10 to 25 second to look at a text in order to evaluate whether it is worth their time. If you see someone is reading, give them at least a minute and a half to finish. This way you will not irritate them and still be available for further questions.

So as you can see from everything mentioned above, a good presentation poster is a visual portrayal of your results, along with some basic description of the project itself. If you start at least 10 days before your conference, you are most likely to be safe and have time for everything.

For every student (regardless of their academic level, offers high-quality assistance with preparing PowerPoint Presentation poster for a presentation. It does not really matter if you have a college research project or a post-grad research to present, will help you prepare a perfect poster for a reasonable price.

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