Are you attending a conference and presenting a poster, but not sure where to start? Here are 10 tips to help you transform a good poster into a great one!
(And make sure you check out our scientific poster templates at the bottom!)
- Make it gripping!
The scientific poster needs to captivate your audience from the beginning. Make sure you focus on what your key message is and put that clearly in your title.
- Keep the title short
The title is what will make people either read your abstract and visit your poster or not. Keep the title short and snappy to make sure it draws interest.
- Leave out unnecessary words
Make sure you only use words that are really necessary. Try to minimise the text, however make sure you clearly and succinctly describe the main conclusions from your project and the take-home messages.
- Make good use of graphics
Focus on the graphics – these are what will catch the eye and explain the data in a way that’s easy to comprehend. Make sure you use graphics that are easy to understand, and stick to a consistent, clean layout.
- Don’t try to cram everything on the poster
The poster is not the place to publish your entire research results. It serves as a networking tool that should attract attention, and help you start up conversations with other scientists. Include only the important information on the poster – YOU are there to provide any other information!
- Outline your methods
Use one graphic, for example, which outlines the design of the study and the methodology that you’ve utilised. Follow this with graphics that convey the scientific results.
- Have clear take-home messages
The take-home messages need to be clearly visualised and clearly described for them to be understood by your listeners.
- Know what’s important
Work out what is the most important information on your poster, and make sure it is visible / readable from a distance in order to draw people who are walking past.
- Tailor your poster presentation to your audience
When you’re presenting your poster to a listener, make sure that you assess their expertise level so that you can tailor your delivery to the person that’s standing in front of you. You don’t want to give the same level of details to somebody who already knows a bit about the subject as somebody who is completely unaware of the research area you’re in.
- Don’t forget credits!
Be sure to include all acknowledgements and collaborators, as well as your name and affiliation on the poster.
Still unsure? Here are some scientific poster templates to help get you started!
Original video with Prof. Lars Steinmetz, EMBL Senior Scientist and Director of the Life Science Alliance