The informal interactive process between an author and a host of viewers is probably the most beneficial aspect of poster presentations. Authors can give and receive so much diverse information about their work in a short period of time. This process, however, is highly dependent on the visual clarity of the display. If it is not clear, authors spend most of their time repeatedly explaining the “whys” and “hows” and have little opportunity for meaningful discussion. To prevent this from happening, we have prepared the following guidelines.

A.  Components of a Poster Presentation:

  • Title and Author(s):  Across the top of your display, provide the title of your work and identify the authors so that interested members can find you easily.
  • Purpose or Question:  It is helpful to include in your display a clear, concise statement of the purpose of your work or the hypothesis tested. This helps the viewer understand why you chose the methods employed and directs the viewer’s attention toward the major points you wish to emphasize.
  • Method or Procedures:  Clearly it is impossible to include all details of your methods and procedures in a display. Most procedures can, however, be briefly summarized in an outline or with a graph.
  • Results:  The results section typically requires the largest amount of space and is the most difficult to present clearly. Limit yourself to presenting the main findings. Use only clearly labeled charts, graphs, tables, or outlines. Generally, charts and graphs are easier for the viewer to comprehend. You can verbally discuss and elaborate on points that need clarification. It helps a great deal if you indicate (by numbers, letters, or arrows) a preferred sequence that should be used in studying your results.
  • Conclusions:  To make your display as self-explanatory as possible, include a conclusions section. Use this section to summarize the primary conclusions that may be drawn from your work and how they relate to your stated purpose. Ideally, discussion will focus on your conclusions, alternative interpretations, and the implications of your work for future research directions.

B.  Poster Preparation:

In preparing your poster presentation, please remember the following:

  • We will be using Command Strips to hang the posters this year which will be provided for you at the conference registration desk.
  • Poster presentations usually have a 3’ high by 4’ wide space in which to display their materials.  An example of good use of this space is shown in the figure below. However, depending on your topic and information, your poster could be smaller.
  • People must be able to read your display from a distance of at least 3’ and usually over the heads of others.  All lettering should therefore be at least 3/8 inch high (27 pica points) and heavily drawn.  Block letters are more easily perceived than other types of printing.  Color adds interest and directs the eye.  Captions identifying the different sections of the presentation help organize the information and add clarity for the viewer.
  • In the past, some poster presenters have gone to great expense in securing professional assistance in the preparation of their posters.  Alternatively, other presenters have been content to display a scrap of paper with a pencil drawing. Both extremes are undesirable.  Professional preparation is not necessary and a scrap of paper is inadequate. If you need advice on how to prepare posters effectively and affordably, please feel free to contact any member of the program committee.
  • For those poster presentations that may not easily fit into the format described because of the nature of the work, the title, author(s), purpose and conclusions should be clearly presented. The method or results section should be modified, or identified differently to clearly reflect the nature of the work. A good rule of thumb is to make your display as self-explanatory as possible.
  • Please note that presenters are allowed to hand out papers with the full text of their studies or make the addresses of Internet sites containing the information available, but may not advertise any product as part of their presentation.

We hope these guidelines will be helpful in making your display self-explanatory; leaving you free to supplement and discuss particular points with your audience.  Again, if you need additional information, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].