You may have been asked to make a presentation and are considering the best ways to reach audiences while getting your information across and meeting all the necessary points. One of the best tools in your arsenal is going to be a scientific poster as you’ll be able to not only showcase and share your work in an interactive way that allows instant feedback, but also boost your ability to network with your peers.
Tips for creating a winning scientific poster
- Start with a clear outline
While this may seem like an obvious point, there are many individuals out there who simply design a presentation without actually creating an outline first. However, by having a clear road map for the points you want to cover and the aims of your scientific poster, you’ll be able to define the flow and ensure the presentation ticks all of the right boxes. If your audience can scan the poster and understand its point, you will be better able to present it in a way that makes sense. Be sure to have an eye-catching title using keywords, an authors list and affiliations, a short introduction and background section, a brief overview of your methods and your results alongside a succinct conclusion.
- Be creative
Don’t think of a scientific poster as your usual presentation tool, but instead as a creative piece that should be designed to grab attention and get the conversation going. It is a useful visual tool that will present your ideas in a more thought-provoking way. Define your audience and their level of comprehension of your presenting topic to curate an interesting scientific poster that will hit the right note.
- Tell a story
Your scientific poster should be compiled to tell a cohesive story to portray the information you want to present. Create an engaging narrative that leads to a logical conclusion without weighing everything down with extensive content or overwhelming data. The presentation should last around 10 minutes and like all good stories, consisting of a beginning, middle and end.
The introduction is your opportunity to set the scene and introduce the main points of interest, while the middle section should outline how you conducted your research, your methodology and how you reached your conclusion – don’t forget to include any challenges you faced to foster a more personal connection with your audience. The final section is the culmination of all your hard work and should depict your final conclusions and prompt discussion.
Sometimes, scientific posters are presented at conferences and therefore will need to make a distinct first impression. This means that it can be a good idea to work with a graphic designer and incorporate the right blend of written content vs visual data (like charts), colors, fonts (and font sizes), alongside any necessary figures – but make sure that everything has a well-defined, easy to follow the layout that presents a clear take-home message in a matter of minutes.