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Preparing and presenting your poster Helen MacLean, PhD Senior Research Fellow Dept Medicine, Austin Health University of Melbourne.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing and presenting your poster Helen MacLean, PhD Senior Research Fellow Dept Medicine, Austin Health University of Melbourne."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing and presenting your poster Helen MacLean, PhD Senior Research Fellow Dept Medicine, Austin Health University of Melbourne

2 Outline before you start –audience/message making your poster –design/content/software presenting your poster answering questions poster logistics

3 Before you start

4 Who is your target audience? peers/experts in the field –e.g. specialist society broader audience with some familiarity with concepts/approaches –e.g. department lay audience –e.g. general public

5 Target audience influences: language used level of complexity amount of background required

6 Language examples: 1.Specialist conference Aim: to investigate the mechanisms via which androgens control myoblast proliferation 2.Departmental presentation Aim: to investigate the mechanisms via which androgens, the male sex hormones, control muscle cell proliferation 3.Fundraising organisation Aim: to study how male sex hormones control the growth of muscle

7 Terminology appropriate to audience avoid jargon, acronyms, abbreviations unless routinely used by audience, e.g.: ✔ “androgen receptor binds directly to DNA” ✖ “pattern of 4-OHT induction in MSM.MCM mice…”

8 What are your key findings/ points? refine your message –poster is a visual medium, not the entire contents of a paper put on the wall max 4-5 major points –extra information can be brought up in discussion with audience figures rather than words

9 Abstract write if required –may be months in advance –may be printed in meeting Proceedings see Daniela Sartor’s presentation for further information

10 Making your poster

11 Design printed on large poster & laminated –robust, portable –poster tube easy although awkward if flying printed on cloth –excellent if flying –requires ironing if folded/creased too much individual panels (+/- lamination) –cheap –can print in your own department –if only B&W printer, use color paper

12 Anatomy poster printing www.anatomy.unimelb.edu.au/services/imaging/index.html

13 Anatomy poster printing www.anatomy.unimelb.edu.au/services/imaging/index.html

14 Cost of poster production

15 Content (i) don’t include Abstract unless required Hypotheses/Aims –1-2 sentences, max 4-5 bullet-points Background (depends on audience) Methods: suggest minimal or none –can describe briefly in figure legends or verbally Results –text in bullet-points, easily readable –summarise each finding in a heading –pictures/diagrams better than text Conclusions (1-3 points/sentences)

16 Poster example

17 Aims Background Methods in figure legends bullet-points in Results each result summarised in heading Conclusions pictures/diagrams better than words

18 Content (ii) develop in consultation with your supervisor –they’re there to help you write out (on paper) the text decide on what figures/diagrams you need for national/international conferences, include your email address on poster institutional branding (uni logos) acknowledge funding sources more on content in Daniela Sartor’s talk

19 University logos www.marcom.unimelb.edu.au/brand_guidelines_system/masterfiles

20 Software PowerPoint –convenient, accessible –easy to align figures/text etc –file compatibility issues (don’t copy/paste) Desktop publishing software (e.g. InDesign, Illustrator) –check if printing service accepts file format –may not be available in your department Graphics software (e.g. Photoshop Elements) –excellent for preparing images to go into poster –cropping, light adjustment, image resolution, etc –more complex software, less intuitive

21 Software formats - Anatomy

22 Preparing figures for poster make sure all lines at least 2 point thickness convert graphs & figures to jpeg format make figures approximate size of final printing –be consistent in sizing if doing multiple graphs/panels save at appropriate resolution –printing density (150 dpi) –higher resolution not printed, slows down PowerPoint, makes final file size enormous

23 Changing size/resolution in Photoshop

24 Creating your poster in PowerPoint select custom page size select background color & color palate insert graphics & text boxes individually → allows alignment preview poster by printing out on A4 paper - select fit to page, black & white - if text too small to read on A4, too small to be read on poster from distance B&W miniposters excellent at large conferences

25 Custom page size depends on size of poster board & conference requirements if poster board is huge (>2m wide), you don’t have to make the poster that big printer limitations –Anatomy: one dimension 100 cm (or 90 cm for cloth), other unlimited landscape preferable to portrait –easier to read mostly left to right than high to low

26 Custom page size

27 Creating your poster in PowerPoint select custom page size select background color & color palate insert graphics & text boxes individually → allows alignment preview poster by printing out on A4 paper - select fit to page, black & white - if text too small to read on A4, too small to be read on poster from distance B&W miniposters excellent at large conferences

28 Slide background

29 Creating your poster in PowerPoint select custom page size select background color & color palate insert graphics & text boxes individually → allows alignment preview poster by printing out on A4 paper - select fit to page, black & white - if text too small to read on A4, too small to be read on poster from distance B&W miniposters excellent at large conferences

30 Inserting pictures don’t cut and paste insert picture from file (jpeg)

31 Drawing objects use Drawing toolbar to insert lines, arrows, shapes, text, etc

32 Aligning objects select text boxes click “Align Left”

33 Distributing objects

34 Creating your poster in PowerPoint select custom page size select background color & color palate insert graphics & text boxes individually → allows alignment preview poster by printing out on A4 paper - select fit to page, black & white - if text too small to read on A4, too small to be read on poster from distance B&W miniposters excellent at large conferences

35 Printing A4 miniposter

36 A4 miniposter

37 Presenting your poster preparation & practise make perfect

38 Poster talk develop in consultation with your supervisor communicate your findings to your audience some poster presentations require set talk –check time-limit (could be 2-3 minutes, if assessed, points subtracted for going too long) write & memorise script if: –time-limit –not confident in language skills –prone to getting nervous/babbling

39 Contents of poster talk describe Hypothesis/Aims in 1-2 sentences –memorise & practise explain major questions/findings –may not have time to cover every panel in poster –if talking about a figure, explain it in detail e.g.: –“this figure shows muscle mass, from males in blue, and females in pink” –“the X-axis shows the relative levels of gene expression…” –“lanes 1-4 show protein from control samples, and lanes 5-8 are from patient samples” Summary & Conclusions –most important, reinforce your message –memorise & practise

40 Effective oral communication speak slowly and clearly –be aware, many people speak quickly when nervous make eye contact point to figures/diagrams if you’re talking about them practise

41 Practising practise your talk OUT LOUD until it is polished –saying it in your head, or reading it, is not the same ask friends/family/colleagues to listen, give feedback

42 If no formal poster talk don’t just wait for questions ask people who stop and start reading, e.g.: –“would you like me to talk you through the poster?” –“can I explain my study to you?”

43 Answering questions

44 Questions posters are interactive, so audience might interrupt you to ask questions great opportunity to show off your knowledge –elaborate on your poster –integrate additional information in your answer generates discussion/informal chat, better than talks relax, be yourself

45 Preparing for questions READ, familiarise yourself with background, have all technical information at your fingertips write down every question you can think of, draft out answers not necessary to memorize answers –more spontaneous & natural if not learnt by rote –but if nervous/not confident in language skills this may be helpful practise saying your answers OUT LOUD ask friends/colleagues to ask you questions, and practise answering them

46 Techniques for answering questions listen to the WHOLE question –don’t latch on to one part of the question and stop listening/start thinking of answer make sure you have understood the whole question take a moment to think of your answer and formulate your response don’t start talking before your brain is engaged

47 If you don’t understand the question don’t panic tell the questioner you’re not quite sure you understood the question, and would they mind re- phrasing it if you’re not certain what the question was, but think you know, you could say: –“are you asking me… If so, then the answer is …” –“can you please clarify/confirm, you’d like to know…, is that correct?”

48 If you don’t know the answer to the question (i) don’t just make up an answer you could say: –“I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer to that/I don’t know about that” –“I know there have been some papers published on that, but I just can’t remember the details at the moment” –“I’m not sure about the answer, I could check with my supervisor if you’d like to know”

49 if the question relates to an interesting point that you hadn’t thought about, or knowledge you weren’t aware of: –“I’m not familiar with that, can you tell me more about it please” –“thank you for that information, I hadn’t thought of that, and it’s a very interesting point” discussion in posters allows you to get different points of view, stimulates new ideas If you don’t know the answer to the question (ii)

50 Dealing with difficult/aggressive questions try and preempt these when developing your poster –critically analyse your own work –be aware of flaws –has correct methodology/data analysis been used? –think of how you will respond to potential issues acknowledge the limitations of your study –don’t over-interpret findings remain polite & don’t get defensive try and answer clearly and simply if questioner remains over-critical/aggressive, suggest they might like to discuss the issue further with your supervisor

51 Other things to remember when answering questions you know more about your work than anyone else –questions usually easy, just clarification or expansion of what you’ve presented questions are often very straightforward and obvious –answer should be straightforward and not too verbose –don’t look for hidden meaning in obvious questions left-field questions are hard to anticipate –don’t look for “trick question” or complexity when questioner is just asking from basic ignorance

52 Poster logistics

53 Flying with your poster take in carry-on luggage keep digital copy in suitcase (and email) for emergency –can print out at destination as last resort

54 The day before don’t have a late night get a good night’s sleep don’t cram last-minute information –key is to prepare early

55 On the day dress appropriately check what time posters should be put up and taken down allow plenty of time to get to your venue fix your poster to the board –bring sticky velcro dots –drawing pins may be supplied check what time(s) you’re required to attend your poster –allow time to eat/drink/go to the toilet, etc beforehand –stay hydrated

56 Other advice preparation & practise are the keys have fun, enjoy the experience


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