Creating Effective Poster Presentations | Create Your Poster | Planning
George Hess | Kathryn Tosney | Leon Liegel

An Effective Poster
Define Your Message
Know Your Audience(s)
An Effective Abstract
Create Your Poster
    :: Planning
    :: Focus
    :: Layout
    :: Headings
    :: Graphics
    :: Text
    :: Colors
    :: Editing
    :: Software
Present Your Poster
Examples of Posters
Video Library
Using this Site
Reproducing Material
The Authors
E-mail a Comment

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Copyright (c) 2013

Creating an effective poster requires time and planning.

Town Crier What's my message?

Everything you put on your poster relates to a carefully crafted message.

  • You must be able to state your main point(s) and conclusion(s) clearly and succintly.
  • All visuals and text should relate to those points and conclusions.

  • Image of a ruler How much room do I have?

    Determine specific size requirements - visit conference web site or otherwise consult with conferenc organizers. Area available determines, in part, ...

  • what you can fit,
  • what you'll have to leave out,
  • layout (landscape vs. portrait orientation),
  • and how things will be organized.

  • Photo of money How much money do I have?

    Your budget will determine, in part, whether you will ...

  • plot your poster or print it on standard sheets of paper.
  • use glossy or draft quality paper.
  • use cardboard or foam core for mounting (if printing on standard sheets of paper).
  • create the poster yourself or contract it out.

  • Image of calendar What milestones should I establish?

  • Especially important if the poster is multi-authored.
  • Start with the due date and work back to create milestones.
  • Allow time for peer review and heavy editing.

  • Suggested schedule. Here are some ideas for establishing milestones. This schedule assumes that you're doing other things during the week. It also allows time for your poster to "sit on the shelf" while you think about it. Of course, you can turn weeks to days and skip drafts as time pressures require.

    When What

    0 Present poster
    -1 week Final print
    -1 week Make changes suggested by peers
    -1 week Distribute draft for peer review (round 2)
    -2 weeks Make changes suggested by peers
    -2 weeks Distribute draft for peer review (round 1)
    -3 weeks Edit your draft ruthlessly
    -3 weeks Create first draft of poster
    -4 weeks Plan out poster on scratch paper
    -4 weeks Define message and write an abstract (if you haven't already done so)