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You’ve successfully overcome every single step of your paper submission to a journal and publication process, and you are just about to take a deep breath of relief. Not so fast! Now that your research is on the right track to achieve visibility, the odds are that you will be invited to a conference or convention to present it to an audience before you know it.
Normally, the organization requesting your research wants it presented in the form of a poster. But, how do you translate an idea (or more than one) that’s in written form into a visual that everyone in an audience will understand?
Poster presentations provide the display of visual summaries of research, and/or innovations, with the intent of sharing knowledge targeting people participating in a specific conference or meeting. Typically, there will be a dedicated time in the program for poster viewing (by scientific communities or sometimes even broader audiences) which will be a great opportunity for poster presenters to discuss their work on an individual basis.
A scientific poster should be self-contained and self-explanatory (leaving no room for doubts or misconceptions), allowing different viewers to proceed on their own while the author is free to supplement or discuss particular points raised in inquiry.
How to present a scientific poster
The key points below may help to put together a successful presentation, no matter the nature of the content:
- Know your audience: Adjust your communication to your audience, and it will be easier to convey your message.
- Less is more: Avoid large chunks of text. Instead, use short headlines and organize the text in lists and/or bullet points. Well-organized and clear illustrations may help you reduce the use of words.
- Wow factor: Make your work stand out with a well-balanced layout, rich illustrations, and an eye-catching color palette. Elsevier’s team of professionals are experienced in creating great-looking posters, without putting scientific exactitude aside.
- Engage the audience: Always remember to create a story flow, highlighting strategic information along the viewing process. This is a good way to keep curiosity alive and maintain high-interest rates among your audience. Additionally, complement your presentation by explaining, orally, key passages or steps in the research process that may not be visually displayed in detail. By adding an oral layer to the presentation, you will be making it more memorable, while bonding with your audience at the same time.
Scientific poster presentation
Poster presentation is an effective mode of scientific communication and involves both the arts and science. Besides being aesthetically well-constructed, a research poster must also convey scientific rigor, hence high-quality illustrations and proficiency in visual narratives are key elements in their creation process.
Tips for scientific poster design:
- A poster is a visual presentation. Do NOT reproduce your written paper.
- The research should speak for itself. You shouldn’t have to explain your poster.
- You want to catch the audience’s attention.
- It should showcase your original question and your findings.
- Make sure the title & authors’ names are prominent.
- Include Contact Info & References.
- Tell a Story – with a clear flow of information.
- Be brief and focus on major findings.
- Use images, graphs, tables etc.
Always mention references. Legends and images used must include their source, due to copyright and intellectual property laws. Addressing all these “minor” issues might be tricky, so you might want to consider special illustration services, such as Elsevier’s, that can help find the best way to give your research the visual impact it deserves.
At Elsevier, we know that for scientists and researchers, the art of building a visually captivating presentation may be difficult. That is why we have developed a number of services, which include scientific, medical and technical illustrators who can make your work stand out – in creativity as well as in science. The sky is really the limit.
Here are some more tips on how to present scientific data.
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