Poster preparation instructions

The following information will help you prepare your research results so that you and your colleagues get the most benefit from your poster presentation. 

What is a Poster Presentation?

A poster is a visual presentation of your research. Use schematic diagrams, graphs, tables and other strategies to direct the visual attention of the viewer, rather than explaining it using text as you would in a journal/conference article. A poster addresses one central question. State the question or hypothesis clearly in the poster and use your presentation to provide a clear and explicit take-home message.

What a poster should include:

  • Title: project title
  • Authors: your name, co-author names, and department
  • Purpose (or Objectives or Introduction)
  • Methods
  • Results or Findings
  • Discussion
  • Summary/conclusions
  • Acknowledgments: include any sources of funding your received

Title and Author

The title of your poster presentation and your name should be made in very LARGE type so that viewers can easily see the subject matter of the poster and its author from a distance (at least 25mm lettering, or 36 point font). The title, author's name, and author’s affiliation are usually placed at the top and in the center of the poster board.


Posters usually have a similar structure to a research paper or journal article: an abstractintroduction (i.e., brief rationale or review of relevant research), method section, results section, and a conclusion or summary. You might also want to list key references. You may decide to use a different format, but breaking things down into clear sections with headings will help your colleagues understand your poster easily and quickly. Keep text to the bare essentials and stick to the most important ideas. You can convey details via discussion when you are standing by your poster.


• Use bullet points to simplify sections like the introduction and conclusions.
• Use large type, such as 36 point type for section headings, and 24 point type for text. Never use type smaller than 18 point for any reason. This is 18 Point Type.
• Make use of italic and boldface.
• Use graphs and figures whenever possible. Make your poster visually pleasing and attractive.
• Programs like MS PowerPoint can be helpful in creating your poster.

Tips for Designing a Poster 

Keep it Simple!
  • arrange your material in a logical progression
  • arrange materials in columns
  • don’t try to cram too much on to the poster
Selecting Colors and Fonts
  • Use only 2 or 3 colors in the poster: too many colors can be distracting
  • Select font colors and background colors to maximize contrast:  A dark font on a light background is more easily read than vice versa
  • Choose a font size and style that can be read easily from several feet away
  • To emphasize a point, use bold or italics rather than underlining as underlined words can be more difficult to read

Role of the poster presenter:

  • Provide a “guided tour” through the poster
  • Answer questions about the research