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How to Create a Poster Presentation


Although many poster sessions only involve informal oral presentation and conversation with your viewers, some sessions or class assignments may involve a more formal presentation to an audience. Be sure you know which you need to prepare, although some tips for preparing a regular talk will also be useful for an informal presentation.

Preparing for an informal poster presentation:

  • allow plenty of preparation and rehearsal time
  • identify the main points you want your viewers to take away
  • prepare a brief (1-2 min.) standard talk that explains your poster and the take-away message
  • anticipate questions and prepare answers
  • understand the background behind your work, the methodology, how calculations were made, etc.
  • rehearse your presentation

During the poster session:

  • stand by your poster, but avoid blocking a view of it
  • be ready to engage with interested viewers; don't get lost in other activities
  • speak to passers-by, but don't corral them into spending time
  • ask an introductory question to gauge how much interest or background the viewer has in your subject
  • don't monopolize viewers' time going into details when they really want the big picture
  • don't allow one viewer to monopolize your time and exclude other interested viewers

What to Expect

The following articles provide insight into the experience of presenting a poster, including reactions from undergraduates who just presented at a national conference.