November 8, 2011

5 Tips for Poster Presenters

I just got back from a conference and enjoyed many of the posters but I also was frustrated that so many educators fail to meet the needs of their audience. Here are some tips:

1. Minimize the text, Maximize the images. Why are so many posters practically a copy of their manuscript? Pick out the most important points and print only those. Use images, flowcharts, or charts to illustrate concepts. I should be able to tell what you did in a few seconds, remember there are lots of other posters I have yet to see.

2. Provide a handout with more detail. You're frustrated that you have so little on the poster? Make copies of the detailed description of your presentation. Use a small font and two columns and you can fit all the text onto one page.

3. Give clear contact information. Put your more than your name on the poster. Give us your email address so we can contact you for more information later. Put contact information on your handouts too.

4. Put the title of your study on a sticker and put it on the back of your business cards. If you want more people interested in your work a business card is great, but when I get home how will I remember what you did? If I have the title on the back of your business card I will remember what you did and know how to get in touch with you.

5. When you are standing by the poster during the poster session, engage those who walk by. The purpose of a research conference is to share research. This is not the time to avoid eye contact with people walking by. We all came from far distances to be there, engage us with some small talk, ask about our interests. We both may learn something.

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