How to Make an Academic Poster

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Academic posters are a great way to showcase your work. At conferences and meetings, they can be used in poster presentations.

Contents


Why make an academic poster?
A poster presentation allows you to summarise your project into a concise and aesthetically pleasing format. It is one of the mainstay forms you will present your work when at conferences. For this reason, you need to make sure your poster is of good quality. This guide will serve to help you with this. 

How to Prepare a Poster
There are many computer programs you can use to create your poster. Many use Publisher or PowerPoint. It is important that you are comfortable using this program as you will likely be doing a lot of editing. You should start preparing your poster early – one month is sufficient time to allow for revisions to be made.

Information to Include in the Format – Our Top Tips 
The Introduction 

  • Title: this needs to have the largest font size of your entire poster to be eye catching. Keep the title as short as possible – it doesn’t need to be a paragraph long.
  • Type of manuscript: whether systematic review or research article etc.
  • Authors: include everyone who has contributed.
  • Affiliations: should come directly under authors.

Main Body 
These are the following sections we recommend, though it will depend on the work you’re presenting:

  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • References

You should not make your sections too wordy. Too much text can be off-putting. The more concise your poster, the better – approximately 100 words per section is ideal. It is reasonable to break up your text with bullet points as this may make your message clearer.

Tables and images
It is a good idea to include graphs/images/tables as this will make your poster look better. Make them colourful. Up to four of these is sufficient.

Font size
The conference may specify this however generally for the main body it is size 24 for text and size 32 for titles. The introduction section at the top of the poster should have a larger font than this.

Colour
It is a good idea to stick to 2 throughout your poster or ideally 1 main colour throughout, any more and your poster may look too busy.


On the day
Poster presentations are generally more relaxed than oral presentations. You will need to arrive on time to put your poster up and a set time to stay with your poster to answer the questions which the judges or audience members will have.

Summary

  • Academic posters a good way to showcase your work
  • Preparing posters in advance is vital
  • Stick to a clear format