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Poster Presentation Guidelines

Posters will be on display for the duration of the symposium. Student presenters should expect to be at or near their poster throughout the majority of their poster session.


We ask that, if possible, poster boards be no larger than 4' (height) by 4' (width). Your research mentor will likely know the best way to print your poster board on campus, but poster boards can also be purchased at a printing or stationary store as well. While pushpins and tape will be available to assemble your poster board, we strongly recommend that you bring your own assembly materials. Easels will be provided at the event. If you need additional accomodations for other materials (e.g., a table), please request it from us as soon as possible.


The presentation title should be printed across the top of the poster at least two inches high. Beneath the title, the name of the student presenter, faculty advisor, and institution affiliations should be at least 36 pt or about one inch high. Subheadings should be at least 24 pt and all text, including figures and tables, should be no smaller than 16-18 pt. Everything should be large enough to read from several feet away. Text should not be smaller than 16 pt in size. Include appropriate graphics and text, and make sure everything is spelled correctly. Inappropriate or incomplete poster boards will not be displayed.


Posters will be viewed from a distance, so pictures can effectively communicate what might take many words to explain. Carefully considered use of charts, tables, figures, graphs, or photos can capture important aspects of your research and reduce the amount of text. Figures can be used to illustrate your experimental design, theories, procedure, stimuli, and results. Each illustration should have a heading in large type that clearly states the significance of the figure. A caption of detailed information should be provided below and should clearly describe the content of the illustration and the conclusions to be drawn from it.


Use your poster space wisely. Your display should be self-explanatory and have a logical flow. Others should be able to follow the order even if you are not present.

It takes time to make a great poster. Allow at least several days to put everything together, and don't leave anything for the last minute!

Consider the portability of your poster. A great poster is easy to assemble on site and can be flexible in case the poster space is smaller than planned. Arrange for help in case mounting the poster is difficult. A map of how the poster should look when it is done is handy in case you need to work quickly, are distracted or nervous.


During your presentation, stand to the side of your display so that you do not block it. Your presentation should be a short summary speech about 10 minutes long. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your research. Because this is an excellent networking opportunity, it is important to speak and interact professionally. You will receive feedback for your work as well.

In addition to your presentation, it may be wise to also prepare a short 2 minute summary of your research for any guests browsing over your poster.

Practice often and be familiar with your poster.


There are numerous resources online that have useful tips for designing informative and eye-catching conference posters. Some of the sites even include templates that can be modified for your own use. To learn more, check out:


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