How To Design A Poster Board – Organizers of nursing conferences depend on nurses who have created new programs or are conducting research to submit their work for presentation at the conferences. These presentations spread knowledge about nursing.
If you belong to a professional organization, you’ve probably received at least one call for abstracts. Since you are arriving well in advance of the conference date, this is an invitation to submit an abstract for a presentation at the conference. You can choose between submitting an abstract for an oral (podium) presentation or a poster presentation. Poster presentations can be a good way to start presenting your work – and are a great opportunity to get feedback and suggestions from colleagues.
How To Design A Poster Board
It is exciting to receive a letter or email letting you know that your poster proposal has been accepted for a conference. But don’t rest on your laurels. When asked what they learned about poster making, many experienced presenters say they wish they had started poster design sooner, as the process took much longer than they expected. To avoid a time crunch, start designing your poster shortly after your abstract is accepted.
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Unlike an oral presentation, the poster itself should do most of the talking about your project. Good design is important. It allows you to tell the “story” of your work more effectively.
Start by carefully reviewing the poster guidelines for the conference. These guidelines specify what size the poster should be and how it will be displayed – on a table, corkboard or stand. The size of the poster affects how much information you can put on the poster. Allowed poster sizes for conferences vary widely.
The content of the poster must follow exactly the format of the abstract you submitted. But remember that the poster is not abstract. With a poster, your goal is to tell a clear and simple story about your work. If your poster topic is a project or organizational innovation, see the Sample Conference Poster for ideas on what content to put where by clicking the PDF icon above.
Many healthcare organizations and universities have graphic design resources available to help with poster design. Some organizations even require presenters to use a specific template. Many posters these days are designed using Microsoft PowerPoint templates, but you can also place parts of your poster on a large piece of poster board (available at art or office supply stores) before you finish it. Or consider using an Internet vendor (such as www.makesigns.com). Many vendors not only guide you through poster design, but can also print and ship your poster to you.
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The rule of “less is more” is good advice for a poster. While you may be tempted to include all the details of your project or research, you won’t have enough space to do so. What’s more, you shouldn’t do it; this would make your poster too busy.
Posters can be delivered to the conference site via overnight services such as FedEx or UPS, but many presenters prefer to carry them by hand in poster canisters or portfolios. Usually, the posters are installed just before the start of the conference. You should receive guidelines in advance from the conference organizers to tell you how to set up your poster. If the poster will be attached to cork board, find out if you are expected to bring the necessary materials (usually pushpins or velcro) to attach it.
Most of the professional meeting agendas provide for specific times for poster presentations. Many organizations offer continuing education credit for attending a poster session. Please be aware that if your poster is accepted at the conference, it is expected that a presenter familiar with the project or research will be available to answer questions during the poster sessions.
Poster presentations are a great opportunity not only to showcase your work, but also to network with colleagues who share similar interests. Effective presenters introduce themselves to attendees and “walk” them through their poster, often adding information they think will be of interest to them. Some participants may want to take the information back to their organizations, so consider having handouts available
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To distribute at the conference. Also bring your business cards or written contact information to pass on to attendees.
Conference attendees’ interest in your poster may prompt you to take the next step—to turn it into an article. Journal editors often attend specialized conferences and attend poster exhibitions. This can be a good opportunity to ask them about their journals’ potential interest in your topic.
A poster presentation is an opportunity to learn from attendees about aspects of your work that particularly resonate with your audience. This can give you a better idea of how to present your work in a journal article to ensure that it is informative and interesting and has clear implications for the nursing profession.
Posters have become an important part of most professional conferences and are a great way for presenters to share their work. Enjoy the experience of standing proudly next to your poster and discussing your work with interested colleagues.
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Moore LW, Augspurger P, King MO, Proffitt C. Insights into poster presentation and the presentation process. Appl Nurs Res. 2001;14(2):100-104.
Sherman RO. Writing summaries for podium presentations and posters. In: Saver C. ed. Anatomy of Writing for Nursing Publications. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2011.
Rose O. Sherman is director of the Nursing Leadership Institute and associate professor of nursing at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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*By submitting your email, you opt-in to receive information from Healthcom Media and affiliates. Details including your email address/mobile number may be used to notify you of future products and services. A scientific poster presentation is often the first type of scientific presentation that early career researchers will give. Before writing a journal article or even a thesis, you will usually have the opportunity to present a poster during a poster session at a conference. It can be a local meeting, a national meeting or even an international meeting. Not only that, but poster sessions are something you’ll be participating in for a long time to come. They will take place throughout your graduate studies and during your postdoctoral time. Even if you’re a professor or an industrial scientist, if you go to a conference, there’s a good chance you’ll present a poster.
Unfortunately, many of the posters I see at conferences are really not very good in terms of presentation, no matter how impressive the scientific results may be. If the presentation is not optimized, other people at the poster session will not want to stop and talk to you about your research. This defeats the whole purpose of a poster presentation, which is to get people to stop and talk to you to learn about your research. The only way it can make an impact is if they learn about it, so they can then quote it and promote it to their colleagues. Having a visually appealing poster is a really big part of getting people to stop and look at it.
Tip number one: Before you start making your poster, read the poster instructions. Each meeting or conference can take place in different rooms, which have different sizes and shapes of rooms. And in the rooms there must be boards for pasting posters. Therefore, a different size poster may be required for each meeting. Sometimes they are wide and not very tall, and sometimes they are tall and not very wide, and the overall sizes can vary greatly. Before you start making, you need to know what size the final poster will be! Before you open PowerPoint and start entering your images and text, figure out what size it needs to be and immediately resize the slide to match.
I’ve been on a few posters where people didn’t read the instructions. I saw posters overlapping the posters next to them. You don’t want to be that person who made their poster too wide and have to cover your neighbor’s poster to completely unfold yours! They won’t like that. I’ve also seen posters built in a wide orientation for a tall poster board and had to hang their poster sideways, all because they didn’t read the instructions and made it the wrong size. Imagine getting people to stop and read your poster when they have to turn their head to the side to read it!
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Tip number two: Make sure your poster isn’t visually overwhelming and scares people away. To avoid clutter, make sure you leave at least 25% white space, which is unfilled space between paragraphs or numbers. While 25% might sound like a lot of white space, it’s not that much when you consider that a poster is a very visual medium. It’s not meant to be read like a newspaper article, so you need to make sure it’s very visually appealing. If not
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