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Poster Presentations: Planning the Content

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1 Poster Presentations: Planning the Content
What is a poster for? Poster Presentations: Planning the Content Professor Brian Ford-Lloyd University Graduate School

2 Some posters give you a lot of information
This slide and the next three are aimed at stimulating thought about what the purpose of the poster is, particularly in the context of how much information could and should be included in an academic poster. In this slide there is quite a lot of useful information – is it too much or too little?

3 Some posters give you some information, but maybe only to those who are already in the know
These two posters provide information, but only to those who know who the Kinks or Tool are – in effect they are speaking to a specialist audience from an academic viewpoint, rather than the general public or everyone.

4 Other posters have a big take-home message
Your poster should always have a ‘take-home’ message – the more powerful the better as the poster will have greater ‘impact’.

5 While others don’t seem to tell you anything – maybe just purely decorative?
Avoid poster designs that look great, but actually don’t say very much.

6 Outline In this session we will cover:
PowerPoint as a medium for poster presentations Content of your poster Presentation of your poster How poster sessions operate Designing the outline of your poster This is the outline content and it needs to be made clear that the session will not be training in how to use powerpoint – but only a brief introduction as to how to start off in powerpoint to create a poster.

7 Some (of many) useful web sites
This training session is certainly not definitive and all-inclusive. Much useful guidance can be found free on the web.

8 Poster design in PowerPoint
Posters are designed as a single slide Go into File- Page Setup Set size as 594mm x 841mm (A1) or 841mm x 1189mm (A0) Consider the orientation Consider the layout, design and colour scheme You might use a picture relevant to your work as a background The key message is that Powerpoint poster is just a single slide in Powerpoint, and the size of this slide is set using ‘Custom’. Useful to go into Powerpoint and look at how to set the slide size in ‘Custom’ to A1 or A0, and also to access a poster Powerpoint slide made previously to see what it looks like. Also need to refer to portrait versus landscape. It is worth making the point that conferences that have poster sessions, and that are well organised will inform the poster contributors ahead of time what size and orientation the posters should be, so that they will fit on the display boards that are being provided.

9 Poster design in PowerPoint
Text can be typed directly in or cut and paste from existing documents Import charts/tables/diagrams Print the poster out at A4: the text should still be readable at this size Some possible font sizes? Just point out the basics such as directly inserting text or importing from a range of different file types. A good hint regarding the size of text is that if you print the Powerpoint slide A4 paper, you should still be able to read the text – if you can, then it will be big enough to be viewed in a conference. Actual font sizes are dealt with on a later slide.

10 Single slide - go into slide setup and set size and orientation
Powerpoint Single slide - go into slide setup and set size and orientation Think about overall design Colour scheme Background - can use images relevant to work Text can be developed in MS Word and then pasted into the poster as a text box Figures and Tables can be done in the same way Font size should allow printed version as A4 sheet to still be readable How not to import a background for obvious reasons. Beware of flashy imported backgrounds.

11 Colour? Hands up who prefers the right or left presentation?
An indication of what sort of background works best. (Normally everyone says the white background is best)

12 When choosing colours for your poster, using 2-3 colours will give the best look. Too many colours make it look chaotic and unprofessional, but having no colour makes it boring and plain. But what about colour vision impairment – try Vischeck? Don’t be too clever with the use of colour as in the one on the left. Content and layout are the same in both, but the simple colour scheme on the right is preferred. The web site on this slide will allow you to submit a poster and see whether the colours are suitable for viewing by those who are colour blind.

13 Title: 80 pt Authors: 54 pt Font size? Subheadings: 36 pt
Body text: 24 pt Captions: 18pt Guide to font sizes

14 Poster design Eye-catching - good use of colour
Easy to read at a distance of 1 to 2 m Minimise text, maximise meaningful graphics Use logical/clear sequence At this point I normally make the point that personally I am not artistically gifted, so my advice on poster design will be limited. As will be seen later, there is not always agreement on what posters people think are the best – preferences vary – so there is no right or wrong design – within limits. The sequence of topics on the poster can also vary quite alot.

15 Poster content - General
Focused topic - decide on the take home message (conclusions) Design the poster round the take home message Choose data that are needed to make the desired points conclusively Decide which methods are key to understanding the data Select the background information that is essential to: Understand the system Understand the question that is being asked The main point to get over is that it is not desirable or possible to cover three or four years’ worth of research in one poster. It is necessary to be selective and even more importantly to decide what part of the research will have the greatest impact – decide on the take-home message. Once that decision has been made, the rest of the poster content can be designed around it, and the best sequence determined.

16 Poster content Above all else, know your audience
Don’t baffle your audience thinking you are showing how clever you are Is your audience The general public? Intelligent academics from across the University? Specialists who work specifically in your area? Being able to tell the general public about your research and therefore why you are doing it is important to achieve impact The key point is that posters will be produced for different audiences – it is important to think about what the audience will be in terms of their understanding of the subject.

17 Poster Content - Introduction and References
Use bullet points Separate each bullet point with space Cut down factual content to minimum Illustrate the subject with a picture if possible Provide key references This is covering fairly obvious advice about layout of the poster, minimising text and maximising white space.

18 Poster content - Methods
Methods should be presented in cartoon version rather than text if possible Use graphics to get a point over rather than dense and detailed text.

19 Poster content - Results
Decide how the data can be presented most clearly - with greatest visual clarity tables, figures, photographs Aim for the Table or Figure to be understandable with a minimum of explanation - annotate a picture or graph with simple labels - do not overload a figure legend. Avoid duplication between graphics and text Organise results by subheadings or subsections related to a question or conclusion Need to think about good use of figures, illustrations, images and tables.

20 Presenting your poster in the conference session
Look friendly Have your photo on your poster Introduce yourself to anyone who looks interested Be prepared with additional information and answers to background information Provide A4 sheet copy of your poster What happens when you get to the conference? I normally describe what it is actually like to present a poster – this will depend on the size of the conference, number of people present, space available etc. I also say that I know of several examples of people who have been offered jobs as a result of the networking in a poster session – poster sessions are great networking opportunities, so it is important to look pleasant, be welcoming when attending your poster, and take the initiative in talking to people as they pass your poster. A friendly photo on your poster helps people to know who is the author of a poster if there are many people milling around. Also, it may be a good idea to have a transparent plastic pocket with A4 copies of your poster for people to take away with them.

21 Questions? Then two activities: - Sketch out your own poster - Judge other posters
The participants now form into small groups, briefly sketch out the design of a poster of their research on A3 paper which is provided, and then discuss their designs with others in the group –see next slide for leads into the discussion.

22 Brainstorm about your poster
Take home message Data/facts/interpretation to support take home message Method(s) to generate data/facts Background information/introduction Title Images Make a cartoon version of your poster See previous slide.

23 Share your ideas Is the message clear?
Do you understand the technical terms? Can you see why the work was done? Does the idea interest you? Does the conclusion seem to represent progress? Do the proposed graphics help? Points for them to discuss in relation to their sketches.

24 Are you planning to enter the next GS Annual Poster Conference?
Do you want to win prizes and go on to national poster conference events? Check out what you think is good and bad about previous posters Some publicity and encouragement to attend the next Graduate School Poster Conference!

25 Examples of Posters During the sketching and group discussions, I normally lay out flat on tables, a number of posters (9 or 10) that have previously been submitted to the Grad School Poster Conference and which have not been retrieved afterwards. Most of them are pretty good. (This slide can be omitted if you do not have examples of posters- instead you can link to images of poster online, see next slide)

26 Look at some posters from previous Graduate School Poster Conferences
We provide a link allowing the viewing of posters electronically. It is worth showing some examples of posters- the galleries show all the winners and additional posters so you can select posters relevant to your discipline

27 Judge posters from a previous GS annual poster conference
Judge on content Best and worst Judge on presentation The participants are asked to view the posters and then to vote for best and worst in terms of content, and best and worst in terms of design. I normally put up a flip chart sheet where they can tick for best/worst etc. We then discuss the best and worst posters and their attributes. The main message here is that not everyone likes or dislikes the same posters – so the whole thing of designing a poster is pretty subjective! I do normally include one poster which is very poor in terms of content and design – everyone always agrees this. Otherwise the rest of the posters are actually of a good quality. Again, this can be omitted if you do not have posters. If this is the case, I would recommend showing the picture of the winning poster from the flickr gallery and asking the workshop why they think it is effective

28 Judging criteria used at last UGS Poster Conference
This is an example of a judging criteria Look at the different aspects of the grid Style/content/presenter Hand out copies of the judging criteria from the UGS poster conference. This is based on the Vitae poster conference criteria. Other conferences may use different criteria but a lot of the elements will be broadly the same

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