Presentation Tips and Resources


Posters offer a chance for real engagement with your audience (a few people at a time). You can get criticism and suggestions, build relationships, even spark future collaborations. Making a poster readable requires extensive attention to layout, formatting, style, graphic quality, and flow. The best posters do not necessarily tell a narrative story with text, or try to mimic a paper format with literature review, methods, discussion, or conclusions. Instead, they imagine what kinds of conversations you want to have with visitors and use the poster as a space to hold graphics, images and key ideas that will aid in those conversations. See this example for inspiration and ideas about how to make your contribution exciting and attractive.

Some Poster “Dos” to Consider:

  • Do: Make a pocket to hold copies of a paper you would like to share with others.
  • Do: Pin business cards or brochures to their poster for people to take away.
  • Do: Consider putting a picture of yourself on the poster so people can identify you at the conference.
  • Do: Bribe your audience with a plastic cup filled with candy/ pencils/ whatever attached to your posterboard.
  • Do: Wear a themed T-shirt promoting your project/ matching your poster.
  • Do: Actively invite people to visit your poster during the conference, use it as a meeting point (memorize that poster number when you find it out), or take a picture and promote it on Twitter with the conference hashtag.
  • Do: Get creative. Bring an ipad preloaded with relevant pictures and velcro it to your poster to show off more than what a poster alone can hold.
  • Do: Think 3D. 3D glasses, 3D objects mounted in your space (magnets can come in handy for this). Transparencies layered over key areas of your poster to make “lift-away” annotations, or spaces for doodling (just add Dry-Erase markers), or “hidden panels”.
  • Do: Bring sticky notes and a writing utensil so people can leave you comments/ contact info. Fake a couple to get them started.
  • Do: Encourage selfies with your poster.


If you do not have a template, there are several websites with templates available for you to download. These include: