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Creating Research Posters: Presenting Your Poster

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Presenting Your Poster

Before the Day of Your Presentation

  1. Prepare an "elevator pitch" of your poster: less than five sentences, it should address 1) Your research topic, 2) Your findings, and 3) Their significance
  2. Prepare "tours" of your poster of varying lengths (e.g. 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc.) that are appropriate for audiences of different levels of interest and/or familiarity with the topic
  3. Be able to describe the purpose of any figures on your poster in order to provide context to any viewers
  4. Print off any handouts or supplemental material you want to have with you at the presentation

On the Day of Your Presentation

  1. Dress "professionally;" if you're not sure what the standards might be at the conference, ask a colleague, a mentor, or someone on the conference planning committee
  2. Arrive as early as you're able so you have time to set up

During Your Presentation

  1. Stand next to your poster and greet viewers as they walk by
  2. Be ready with your elevator pitch and your tours if someone asks for more information
  3. When describing your research, point to relevant sections of the poster to help guide the viewer's understanding
  4. Face the viewer(s) you're speaking to and avoid reading off of notes as much as possible

Key Takeaways

  • Don't read your poster - it's a visual aid, not a script
  • Prepare a few "tours" of your poster of varying lengths (e.g., 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes)
  • Face your viewer and speak directly to them as much as possible
  • Some points you could focus on are:
    • The problem or research question you investigated and why it is important
    • The procedures you followed to investigate the issue
    • The findings or results of your research or experiment
    • What the results of your research mean in context, or how the investigation might be taken further

Adapted from the guide "Creating Research Posters" originally created by Clayton Hayes, Wayne State University Library System.