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Experiential Learning Commons Blog


by Chilly Heinz on 2022-03-31T16:30:00-04:00 | Comments

Are You Thinking About Poster Presentations?

It's spring (finally)! And a lot of folks are thinking about their big senior projects and presentations, either because they're about to deliver them (congratulations, you're almost there) or about to begin working on them (Don't worry. You got this). In the spirit of making your life easier, we thought we'd share a few things that could help you when you polish off your final details.

We've got sources below, but here is a brief list of tips in no particular order.

  1. Your title is crucial. Focus on your main finding and avoid details.
    • Make your audience wonder how you came to your conclusion. Remember, your poster's purpose is to catch the audience's attention.
  2. Do your best to say more with less. Avoid giant blocks of text.
    • By the time you present to your audience, you will know your material inside and out. Once they're drawn in, you can dazzle them with the details.
  3. So about your fonts ...
    • No more than two, and bigger is better.
  4. The arrangement of your poster's elements should parallel the story you'll tell.
    • Boil your work down to 3-5 sentences (no, it's not easy, but it will help you lay out your poster), then think of each sentence as a section of your poster.
  5. The fewer the colors, the better. Two is best, three good, and please refrain from using more than four.
  6. Space and alignment.
    • Leave space between your blocks of text and image, and it helps if they align with one another.

    • Three column grids look pretty professional.
  7. Read the instructions.
    • Before sending your poster to print, read their instructions. The biggest problem printers report is that the document is the wrong size.
  8. The arm's length test.
    • All done? Print your layout out on a single piece of 8.5 x 11 paper. If you can't read your poster at arm's length, it's too small. And might be too crowded.


Sources for Presenting in General

Cover Art

Better Posters: Plan, Design and Present an Academic Poster by Zen Faulkes
Cover ArtPresenting Your Research: Conferences, Symposiums, Poster Presentations and Beyond by Lucinda Becker

Sources for Presenting Scientific Research

Cover Art Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More by Matt Carter
Cover Art Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists & Engineers by Frankel and DePace

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