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How to Prepare and Design your Poster Presentation
- Your teacher will send you the template through Schoology (Google Slides).
- The template contains five slides, each with a different starting template. Choose the one you like and delete the other four slides. Your file should be one slide from this point forward.
You can adjust the template's color, layout, and sections to suit you needs. However, your font should be large enough to read:
Title: 85 pt
Authors: 56 pt
Sub-headings: 36 pt
Body text: 30 pt
Captions: 18 pt
One of the most common mistakes is leaving out your acknowledgements. Remember to acknowledge your sources and contributors. (See the template for details).
Another common mistake is forgetting to label your data. If you have any charts, graphs, or images, you must give them a title and caption. See Displaying Data for instructions on how to do this.
A 36 in tall x 48 in wide tri-folding poster board will be provided to you. You will have space for twelve 8.5 in x 11 in panels.
Sample templates will be available on the AAR website
- Posters are an effective way of communicating information concisely and visually in a format that is attractive to the audience. As a result, academic posters can be a powerful way to help publicize information and generate discussion.
- Academic posters can reach a wide audience, since they may be displayed for several hours or days, at national or international conferences. They may also be published online as part of conference proceedings, thus becoming part of a permanent record of research activity.
- An effective poster can make a strong impact, so it's worth developing your poster planning skills.
A good poster should be
- well researched
- effectively organized
- visually attractive
Planning your Content
It takes skill to summarize a complex topic without losing meaning or connections.
Since a poster must communicate concisely, you need to spend some time identifying your key points.
1. Decide what you need to communicate, and how.
a. What is your main message? What does your viewer need to know?
b. Identify the key points, always keeping your topic or task in mind.
c. Note the graphics you might need, such as photos, diagrams, graphs or charts.
2. Once you've decided on the main content, make a rough draft of the information you need.
3. Decide on the main title.
4. Academic posters need to show evidence of reading and research, so you must always include references.
Structure/Format – depends on your content and what you’re trying to communicate
Reporting on research
If you are reporting on a piece of research, your structure may be similar to a research report
Reporting on a solution to a problem
If you are illustrating how a particular problem was solved, or how a challenge was addressed, the structure may be:
Planning your Design
Once you've identified your main content and structure, you need to identify the graphics and formatting which will communicate your message best.
It's usually best to design from the outside in, thinking about the general purpose before the details.
Remember: It's important to be very clear about the purpose of your poster.
Keep returning to this as you plan your design.
Posters are designed to convey a message quickly and efficiently. What should your viewer see and understand first?
Tip: In an academic poster, the priority is to be clear, concise and professional.
What visual arrangement will suit your content best, and how will you lead the reader through it?
- A poster should be legible from about 1 m away and attract interest from about 5 m.
- Aim for a word count of about 300 to 800 words. 300 words leaves plenty of room for graphics, while 800 words is more text heavy.
- For clarity, use a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica. Make sure there is good contrast between the text and the background.
- To be legible at a distance, the main title should be around 70-100 pt, subheadings around 40 pt, body text around 24 pt.
- Be consistent in formatting headings and subheadings. This helps structure your information visually.
- An academic poster should be both professional and concise, so it is best only to include graphics that strongly support your content.
- Use diagrams, graphs, or flowcharts to help explain complex information visually.
- Try not to use too many different or strongly contrasting colors. A limited color palette can be very effective.
- Avoid using unnecessary and distracting background textures or decoration.
- To print effectively, images should be high resolution (150-300 dpi)
- If your topic has a central statement, graphic, or diagram, make this prominent in your design. Don't hide it in a corner!
- Every graphic should have a purpose.