A poster is a hybrid form of scientific communication.
A poster has the advantages of both personal and written communication.
The researcher can interact personally with the audience members who are specifically interested in their topic; both scientists share valuable information.
The structure of the poster is graphic like a presentation, yet audience members can read and digest the information at their own paces.
TIPS for posters:
- Take advantage of natural reading patterns to arrange your poster. Arrange elements in columns (people read top to bottom and left to right).
- Similarly, place your introduction in the upper left corner and your conclusion in the lower right corner (that’s where your readers will naturally look for those elements).
- Make letters large enough to be easily readable from a distance. One-inch-high letters for the title is a good guideline.
- Make figures as simple as possible, but recall that poster figures need not be as simplified as presentation figures because the audience members can take their time examining poster elements.
- Avoid large blocks of uninterrupted text. Use graphics and brief summaries to tell your story. Posters are a good place for bulleted or numbered lists.
- Use colorful graphics, but don’t forget to be professional. “Substance and clarity impress professional readers more than glitz.” (Penrose & Katz p. 113)
- Take advantage of new technologies where available to construct your poster.