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Tips for Poster Presentations

Adapted from Western Psychological Association Convention Instructions for Delivering Presentations, Eye on Psi Chi, Winter, 1998, pp. 35, 42. Reprinted with permission of Psi Chi Honor Society.

Poster presentations provide the opportunity for the presenter and the audience to talk with one another. A physical arrangement similar to an exhibit area is used for this interaction. Each presenter is provided with a space for display of the poster. During the designated period, the audience moves through the poster displays, stopping to interact with those who are presenting research that is of special interest to them. Thus, the interaction between the presenters and the audience is likely to be more meaningful than is typically the case in paper sessions. Therefore, when constructing your poster, remember to utilize the opportunities provided by this method of presentation.

Poster presentation recommendations:

  1. Construct the poster to include the title, the author(s), affiliation(s), and a description of the research, highlighting the major elements that are covered in the abstract.
  2. Minimize detail and try to use simple, jargon-free statements. 
  3. Remember that pictures, tables, and figures are amenable to poster display 
  4. If you can, use color in your visuals.
  5. Make sure lettering is neatly done and is large enough to be read from a distance, i.e., do not simply pin up a set of type pages reserve these for your handout.
  6. Consider using a flow chart or some other method of providing the viewer with a guide to inspecting your display.
  7. Don't overwhelm the viewer with excessive amounts of information; rather, construct a poster display that enhances conversation.
  8. Be ready to pin up and take down your poster at specified times.
  9. Be sure to bring thumbtacks with you.

Prepare for distribution, copies of a printed version of your paper (about 25) with the details of the research and/or a sign-up sheet on which interested people can request the paper. Be sure to indicate on the paper your identification, the conference source reference, and whether or not it may be quoted.

It is an honor to have the opportunity to present at a research conference. You have an obligation to prepare a neat, well-organized display and to be present at your display for the entire poster session period. With a little thought and creativity, you can make your presentation a very pleasing one for both you and your audience.