Creating Your Poster
As you develop your poster, determine which aspects of your research project are most interesting and important and consider how you can communicate that information visually. Posters are most effective when they mix visuals and text, include plenty of white space, and guide the reader through the material with a logical organization.
Here are a few basic pieces of information your poster should include:
- Your project title
- Your name and affiliation
- Your research question
- Information about how you attempted to answer your question (methods)
- Your results
- The significance of those results (to you, to the field, or to particular groups).
Remember that your audience should be able to absorb your main arguments in a few minutes. Be prepared to give a brief oral introduction to the project and answer questions.
There are many websites that provide practical advice in how to design an effective poster presentation, including the following:
- How to Create a Research Poster: Poster Basics (NYU Libraries)
- Poster Sessions (Colorado State University)
- Designing Conference Posters (Colin Purrington’s blog)
- Posters should be readable from a distance of 5 to 10 feet. (Use at least 48-point font for titles and 36-point for body text and tables.)
- Include images to support your argument and capture viewers’ interest.
- Limit text (no more than 800 words); use headings, bulleted lists, and enumeration where possible.
- Select highly legible font styles (no more than three) and use them consistently throughout.
- Use dark text on a light background to maximize readability.
- Don’t overdo color; select a color scheme and use color strategically. (Overuse of bright colors or use of clashing colors can distract readers.)
You are responsible for transporting your poster to and from the Convention site. Ideally, print your poster in a size that can be rolled up and slid into a tube for transport (and slide in a few tacks for mounting).
The poster display boards are 8’ wide x 4’ tall, and your poster must fit comfortably within that space. There are enough display boards to accommodate one poster per side of the board. You are responsible for mounting your own poster, so please bring your own push pins.
Your Poster Session
You will have a designated session time slot during which you will “present” your poster and interact with attendees about your work. Please arrive a few minutes early and stay near your poster throughout the duration of your session.
Poster Presentation Tips:
- Develop a “talk” that will complement your poster’s information; consider probable viewer questions as you prepare.
- Prepare a few different versions of your poster “talk”:
- a quick 30-second overview of the project
- a 60-second summary plus brief explanations about each major poster heading
- a 3-minute explanation of the poster and its visual content
- Practice your talk, complete with gestures, while maintaining eye contact.
- During the poster session, allow viewers some time look at poster’s content, particularly the visuals, and then tell them about it.
- Bring your business cards and a stack of handouts that summarize your presentation for attendees to take away from your session.
- Bring a sign-up sheet to collect contact information to email additional information after the Convention to those interested.
Enjoy your poster session at the CCCC Annual Convention!