Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices

Scientific Posters: Tips, Significance, Design, Templates & Presentation

Tips

1.           Know the audience

2.           Be focused and know the point you want to get across

3.           Provide a brief, clearly stated background and walk the audience through the content of the poster by interpreting all results

4.           Poster design and presentation:

Significance

A poster is like an exhibit at a museum. It is an excellent means of communicating scientific work because it is a pictorial representation that is more visual than any other form of presentation. A poster also allows the researcher to associate with other presenters and, at the same time, be able to talk directly with the audience. For these reasons, a poster should be visually stimulating with minimal words. It should a concise, organized summary that is clearly written with few words in large text.

Design

When designing a poster it is important to keep two things in mind: the scientific method and the audience. The scientific method is important because it directs the content of the poster. Although not all the headings that appear in a manuscript need to be included in a poster, but the order in which they appear in a written paper should be the same as they appear in a poster. A short abstract, a brief introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and acknowledgements are possible headings that are often seen on scientific posters. It is important to realize that chart, graphs and tables are more important than wordy abstracts, introductions, and discussions. For this reason, the focus of a poster should be on the results. Large graphs with short captions are much more affective on a poster and should be kept in the center when designing a poster. Regardless of the type of conference or meeting at which the poster is being presented, it is important to keep in mind type of audience that will approach the poster. Technical, scientific jargon should be avoided. Instead, simple, easy to follow language should be used. A brief background with clinical relevance should be clearly stated and results should be interpreted for the audience.  

Presentation

Unlike presenting scientific work through a paper in which the researcher is glued to a computer for days, presenting a poster is quite fun. It is the only chance for the scientist to talk to the audience. For this reason, it is important to know the message that you want to get across and be able to deliver it successfully. Simple, clear language and a good poster design are key to a successful poster presentation. Before the presentation, a brief 5-10 minute verbal script should be prepared for the poster. During the presentation, it also helps to provide the audience with a postcard size summary of the poster.

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