Professional Poster Construction

Presenting Your Poster

Remember - your poster is a visual aid to be used to initiate and sustain dialogue. 


Poster Presentation 

 You are the text - engage your audience in a conversation about your research.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Prepare a bulleted list of information summarizing the important points in your research.


  1. Create a context for your research. What did we already know about the problem you are addressing? Why is this problem important? (Introduction)  
  2. What was the purpose of your research? How did you go about investigating the problem? (Hypothesis & Method)  
  3. What did you learn from your research? (Results)
  4. Put your results back in context. How does what you learned inform your topic further? What are some of the limitations of your research? How might future researchers extend this line of inquiry further? (Discussion)

Prepare a schpiel - develop a 3 to 5 minute talk from your bulleted list. Do not write out or memorize your talk. Just talk through the points you have outlined by answering questions as you prepared your bulleted list. 

Practice, practice, practice

Rehearse your schpiel repeatedly. Talk through it again and again in front of your mirror, in the shower, during a walk, in front of your pets/children/roommate/spouse/friends, at every opportunity. Practice enables you to overlearn the content of your talk. By so doing, you will know the content so well that recalling content will be automatic. Instead of having to concentrate on thinking about content, your mind will be free to concentrate on how you are presenting and what your audience members are saying.


If possible, arrange for a more formal rehearsal with other people planning to attend the same conference or with students in a class. 


The Day of Your Presentation

  • Arrive early to your assigned area.
  • Bring emergency supplies with you.
  • Secure your poster to the display. You should review poster instructions including size limits, type of display (e.g., easels, tables, walls, bulletin boards), and supplies provided by conference organizers prior to creating your poster and again before leaving for the conference.
  • Make certain that handouts, business cards, and/or reprints of your poster/paper are available. You can place them on a nearby table if available or you can place them in envelopes secured next to your poster.