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Poster development and presentation

Poster presentations are an integral part of academic conferences.

  • They are an opportunity for you to meet others in your field, get feedback on your research, and promote yourself.
  • Poster presentation involves two key aspects: creating a poster and presenting it in person.
  • Both of these tasks require preparation and skill, as much if not more than a 20-minute conference talk.

1. Poster creation

Your poster:

  • is usually hung in a space within the conference venue
  • must tell a clear and compelling research ‘story’.
Watch this YouTube video about making an effective poster:

American Journal Experts (2016, September 19). Making a better research poster [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwMFhyH7_5g

Looking for something different? Follow the YouTube links to other videos on academic posters.

Technical issues:

  • Discuss with your supervisor/HDR Coordinator about funds to support printing costs.
  • Poster layout is essential to success. You may need technical assistance.
  • Give yourself time to print the poster before the conference.
  • Carry it in a weatherproof sheath or cylinder marked with your name and contact details.
  • Make sure you also have a USB or cloud back-up file.

2. Poster presentation

Presenting your poster at a conference involves:

  • a ‘semi-structured’ conversation with conference delegates
  • explanation of the research captured in the poster.

Here’s some excellent advice about presenting your poster:

There are many other YouTube videos about poster presentations. Find one that suits your particular needs.

Interpersonal issues:

  • Be open and friendly but professional. Smile, and encourage delegates to stop at your poster.
  • If they do not open the conversation, say, “Hello, I’m…. and You?….” “Can I tell you about my research?”
  • Dress professionally.
  • Invite questions from your ‘visitors’: don’t talk at them; talk with them by answering their questions.
  • Point to the key visual information in your poster, and explain its significance.
  • Acknowledge feedback: give thanks and, if relevant, say what you will do to follow their suggestions.
Other resources

Check out these RMIT University resources:

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