Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 S103

Practical tips for a perfect poster

A Mostyn, H Budge & ME Symonds


Centre for Reproduction and Early Life, Institute of Clinical Research, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.


The key to a great poster is preparation – as soon as you receive notification of your poster presentation, read the ‘instructions for authors’. Key points to note are:

The size of the poster boards

Attendance times

Is there a presentation in front of your poster?

Turn-around time of the poster printer.

The shape/size of the poster will be dictated by the size of the poster boards. The format should include: introduction, methods, results, discussion and a conclusion. Text and illustrations on the poster should ‘flow’ in a way that a lone reader can follow. Keep layout simple. Choose a colour scheme that will enhance your work – not overshadow it! University corporate styles look professional if a number of delegates from the same university are present. Use your sponsors’ logo to acknowledge support.

Titles should be short and snappy to encourage viewers. Text throughout the poster should be in short sentences – delegates want to be able to scan posters quickly for the important points and should be readable from 3 feet. A sans serif font is recommended (e.g. Arial or Helvetica), keep bold for special emphasis e.g. titles, and avoid acronyms, abbreviations and jargon. Figs. look impressive on posters; include cartoons/flow diagrams of methods, graphs of results and photographic images. Keep the text in figures large and easy to understand.

Show several colleagues the poster before having it printed and get feedback, especially if an oral presentation is required. Prepare an overview of the work and practice; it’s not easy to condense months of work into a 2-3 minute sound bite! An A4 handout of the poster is useful. Preparation, consistency and simplicity are the key to a great poster which will showcase your research in an appealing visual format, to a wide number of delegates.

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