The Making Stage:
Step 1: The first thing you need
to decide is how you will print out the poster.
- a bunch of small sheets (8.5" by 11")
- one big sheet (e.g. 36" high and 54"
- a big sheet (available at many copy centers) has
- saves hours of cutting a pasting (unless done carefully
this can turn out messy)
- simple to put up
- but also some disadvantages
- more expensive
- not forgiving. You need to redo the whole
poster to fix a mistake. For this reason it is important to print
out several miniature drafts and get them carefully proofread.
Step 2: Make a version 1 of your poster.
- import graphs and text into a graphics program
such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint.
- pick the font and font sizes that you will use.
For sentences use Serif. For example:
- Why? Because these fonts make it easier to bind the letters into words
- Often good to bold and double space.
However posters should avoid long sentences and
paragraphs. Use point form.
For the figures use Sans Serif. For example:
- Why? Because these fonts are simpler.
- Your poster must attract an audience.
Remember that your audience is not captive.
They can choose to walk by.
- Use an interesting title.
- Don't make things look complicated and crowded.
- Keep the poster simple and neat.
- Make the key figures and titles big!
- Your visitor should have a rough idea
of what it is about from far away. If not,
she/he may not step forward for a closer look!
- Tack the first draft on a bulletin board. Don't mount it on poster board
yet. At this stage you do not want to invest too much time because, once you have it up, things will likely change.
- Check that you can make out the important
things from far away, 5 feet or more.
- If you plan to use a big sheet, print out a miniature
version, say on an 8.5" by 14" sheet of paper. If you cannot make
out the text, your font size is probably too small.
Step 3: Prepare what you will say when describing the
- How long should the
presentation take? Put your self in the shoes of your audience. The average attendee might
want to visit 12 posters in a three hour session. Take away an hour for chatting with
friends and having coffee, that leaves two hours or about 10 minutes per poster. Half of
that is for asking questions. That leaves you 5 minutes,
at the most, to get through it.
- Pick what you say carefully. You can provide the details later, if your visitor is still interested.
Step 4: Practice giving your poster
- Practice going through your poster first to yourself then to colleagues.
- You will most likely discover its too long. Adjust
what you say and/or the poster.
Step 5: Make the final version:
- Background poster paper of different colors can be used to unify
different parts/sections. If you are using a big sheet, add line borders to
separate items. Avoid very bright colors.
- Make the posters in sections that are small enough to fit in your brief
case. But keep the # of sections small
so that it does not take hours to tack up
- If you use one big sheet, get a sturdy roll
(add your name, email, telephone to the outside, just in case). Do not put your poster in your luggage. It will be lost. Take it as carry on.
Copyright © 1995
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
University of Western Ontario
London Ontario Canada
Created 28 Sept 1995
10 January 2007