Recommendations for your Poster Presentation

The following recommendations are meant to serve as general guidelines, because there are no set rules for designing a poster. Your primary goals should be to convey your project clearly and concisely in a visually appealing format that is readable from 1-1.5 meters away. In general, you should minimize the amount of text and non-essential details and emphasize graphical information.

Poster content: Items that should be included in your poster include:

Title: The title of the presentation should be clearly visible (use large letters, at least 4 cm tall, in caps).

Author(s) name(s): These should be in a slightly smaller font size. Note that if other individuals supported your research, either technically or intellectually, you should include them as co-authors after your name. Your research mentor would definitely fall in this category. List the first author's (probably you) last name, first name, middle initial and then the first name, middle initial, and last name of each co-author. Underline the name of the person who will be presenting the poster at the symposium (again, probably you).

Author's affiliation: Include your department or program and institution. If your co-authors have different affiliations, place a superscript number after each author's name and a corresponding superscript number before each author's address. The presenting author's name should be underlined.



Jordan1, Michaela M ., and Deanna R. Smith2.

1Department of Biological Sciences, Smith College
2Department of Recreation and Leisure, University of North Carolina

Body of the poster: Below this information, you should include in the body of your poster a brief background to your project and your primary goals, the methods you used to complete your experiments, the results you obtained, and a discussion of your findings, and conclusions. Tables and figures should be included in the body of your poster.

The way in which you present this information is flexible. Keep the following guidelines in mind for clarity and easy readability.

Poster layout and printing: There are two basic formats for putting together your poster. You can print the poster as a single large sheet or you can mount the information on pieces of poster board, which can then be tacked to the wall. Both are acceptable for symposia here at Smith College and at national scientific meetings as well.

Poster size: In the McConnell foyer, two types of boards will be available. The vertical boards on the wall are 4' wide x 8' tall. Free standing, horizontal boards are 5' 8" wide x 3' 8" tall. Thus, to fit on either type of board, your poster should be designed to fit within an area approximately 4 feet wide x 3.5 feet tall.

Presenting your poster: The poster session starts at 4 pm. You need to put your poster up prior to that time in McConnell Foyer. This can be done earlier Monday.

Presenting a poster is much less formal than a talk. Your role is to stand by your poster to offer information and answer questions about your project. While some people like to read posters on their own, the majority of people are thrilled to have you "walk them through the poster" (i.e. tell them what it's all about). This is more interesting for you and the viewer! So, feel free to ask people as they come by how you can help them.

Questions: If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact: Judith Wopereis at or Lori Saunders