creating effective poster presentations an effective poster

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  • Creating Effective Poster Presentations An Effective Poster
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  • An Effective Poster Is a Visual Communications Tool. An effective poster will help you...... engage colleagues in conversation.... get your main point across to as many people as possible. An effective poster is... Focused on a single message. Lets graphs and images tell the story; uses text sparingly. Keeps the sequence well-ordered and obvious.
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  • An Effective Poster Operates on Multiple Levels... source of information conversation starter advertisement of your work summary of your work An effective poster is not just a standard research paper stuck to a board. A poster uses a different, visual grammar. It shows, not tells.
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  • Many Ineffective Posters Suffer From Easy-to-fix Problems, Including... objective(s) and main point(s) hard to find text too small poor graphics poor organization
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  • All Visuals and Text Should Relate to a Succinctly Stated Message. Your goal is to convey a clear message and support it with a compelling combination of images and short blocks of text. Know your message! What is the one thing you want your audience to learn? Focus on your message throughout the poster. If it doesn't reinforce your message, leave it out!!
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  • Cont Be bold & be explicit. If you have an interesting result, state it explicitly in the title. The Effect of X on Y Substance X Induces Y-cells Make the strongest statements your data will support. Why soft-peddle exciting findings? Rather than merely repeating the results, state your interpretations in the conclusion section.
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  • Example Note how the poster title and the titles of the graphs provide key messages.
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  • Define Your Message: Consider the Alternatives Do this... Be bold and be explicit!
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  • ... not this!!! Hedge wherever you can.
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  • Know Your Audience(s) You should make your message accessible to a diverse audience. There are three categories of readers in most audiences (Woolsey 1989). People in... your field of specialization fields closely related to yours unrelated fields To satisfy them all, you should...
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  • Know Your Audience(s) Cont Provide context for your work. Explain the big picture and why the problem is important. Use plain language to present your work. Avoid jargon and acronyms unless you're really positive that yours will be a specialist-only audience. Interpret your findings so that readers in all categories can understand how your work helps solve the problem you've described.
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  • Consider the Alternatives Do this... Design for all three audience categories.
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  • Consider the Alternatives... not this Design only for specialists in your field.
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  • Audience Category People in your field of specialization, including your competitors. People in fields closely related to yours are worth capturing, because they can have interesting insights and perspectives about your work. People in unrelated fields can be attracted by an accessible message, and provide valuable insights and links to distant fields Requirements No special efforts are required to attract them. They will read whatever you present, no matter how well or poorly you present it. They will require that you supply context for your work. They are likely to be unfamiliar with your jargon. They require you to explain the problem and the solution. They will not understand your jargon.
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  • An Effective Abstract Is Your First Opportunity to Hone Your Message. An abstract is a succinct description of your work. It should... Explain why your work is important - set the context and pre-empt the question "So what?" Describe the objective(s) of your work. What are you adding to current knowledge? Briefly explain the methods. Unless the research is about methods, this should not be a major focus of your abstract (or your poster). Succinctly state results, conclusions, and recommendations. This is what most people want to know. Do not say "We present the results of our study and recommendations for action" - tell them what you found and recommend!
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  • Creating Effective Posters Requires Planning, Art, Science, and Attention to Detail. Each of the following aspects of poster creation is considered in detail... Planning Before starting work on your poster, consider message, space, budget, format (single sheet or multi-panel), and deadlines. Focus Stay focused on your message and keep it simple. Create a mock-up and dispense with unneeded details. Layout Use a clearly defined visual grammar to move readers through your poster.
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  • Headings Use headings to orient readers and convey major points. Graphics Clear graphics should dominate your poster. Text Text should be minimized in favour of graphics, and large where used. Colours Colours can make a poster attractive and improve readability, but be cautious. Editing Edit ruthlessly to reduce the amount of text and focus on a results-oriented message. Software There are many packages you can use to create your poster.
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  • Planning Creating an effective poster requires time and planning. What's my message? Everything you put on your poster relates to a carefully crafted message. You must be able to state your main point(s) and conclusion(s) clearly and succinctly. All visuals and text should relate to those points and conclusions.
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  • Planning Cont How much room do I have? Determine specific size requirements - visit conference web site or otherwise consult with conference organizers. Area available determines, in part,... what you can fit, what you'll have to leave out, layout (landscape vs. portrait orientation), and how things will be organized.
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  • Planning Cont How much money do I have? Your budget will determine, in part, whether you will... plot your poster or print it on standard sheets of paper. use glossy or draft quality paper. use cardboard or foam core for mounting (if printing on standard sheets of paper). create the poster yourself or contract it out.
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  • Planning Cont What milestones should I establish? Especially important if the poster is multi- authored. Start with the due date and work back to create milestones. Allow time for peer review and heavy editing.
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  • Suggested Schedule. When What 0 Present poster -1 week Final print -1 week Make changes suggested by peers -1 week Distribute draft for peer review (round 2) -2 weeks Make changes suggested by peers -2 weeks Distribute draft for peer review (round 1) -3 weeks Edit your draft ruthlessly -3 weeks Create first draft of poster -4 weeks Plan out poster on scratch paper -4 weeks Define message and write an abstract (if you haven't already done so)
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  • Focus Stay focused on your message. And keep it simple!! Simple messages are more memorable. Details detract from the main point, and can be supplied in person as needed.
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  • Focus Cont Create a mock-up poster focused on your main message. Ask yourself which details are absolutely essential for conveying your message. The most common problem is too much focus on methods. [ An exception is if your poster is about a new method. ] Omit anything that is not essential. Edit text carefully - simplify verbiage, reduce sentence complexity.
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  • Focus: Consider the Alternatives Do this... Edit ruthlessly! Simplify. Supply details in person, and only as needed.
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  • ... not this Emphasize methods rather than the main message.
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  • Layout A clear visual grammar guides readers through your poster. Your poster should... use a visual grammar to guide readers to the important parts of your poster. use a column format to make your poster easier to read in a crowd. use organization cues to guide readers through your poster.
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  • Layout Cont use "reader gravity" which pulls the eye from top to bottom and left to right (Wheildon 1995). use headings intelligently to help readers find your main points and key information. balance the placement of text and graphics to create visual appeal. use white space creatively to help define the flow of information.
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  • Visual Grammar Visual grammar is a graphic hierarchy that helps readers identify the most important parts of your poster.
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  • Consider the Alternatives Do this... Use a graphic hierarchy that visually reflects the relative importance of elements.
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  • ... not this Use a text-heavy, publication-style format.
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  • Columnar Format Organize your poster in columns so that it's easy to read when there's a crowd in front of it.
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  • Consider the Alternatives Do this... Use a columnar format. It allows readers to read the entire poster as they proceed from left to right.
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  • ... not this Use a row-oriented layout. This format moves readers past your poster very quickly.
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