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Summer Research Institute 2018: Making a Presentation Poster

This guide aims to give you some general guidelines on the design of posters for academic presentations, as well as to help with the specific task of creating a poster for the Barnard Summer Research Institute poster session on August 1st, 2018. 

Your poster needs to communicate information clearly and quickly, drawing audience members in so that they are motivated to ask you questions about your research.

The poster should have:

  • The elements of an academic scholarly science paper, i.e. Introduction, Hypotheses, Methods, Results and Discussion, Conclusions, References (for SRI 2018 an abstract and literature review are not required)
  • A small amount of text, with diagrams, images and charts used to convey most of the content, and plenty of white space
  • Attractive, easy-to-read fonts, preferably sans serif, e.g. Arial, Calibri, or Trebuchet
  • A strong, cohesive message about your research. 

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Make your poster easy for the audience to read by:
    • avoiding wordiness, unnecessary jargon, and abbreviations that aren't commonly known
    • using bullet points instead of full paragraphs wherever possible
    • making the text large enough to be read from 5-6 feet away; it should be large enough that it can be read from a normal reading distance when the poster is printed out on 8½  x 11 paper (probably not smaller than Arial 20pt font).
  • Think about your target audience - is it scholars from your field, scholars from different fields, or a general, non-scholarly audience?
  • It's a good idea to prepare a very brief summary of your research that you can deliver in 30 seconds, and a slightly longer presentation of 4-5 minutes to guide audience members through your poster and its main points.