TDNet Discover


Poster presentations are a common project utilized by students & other medical experts to present research in summary form while also showing off their visual artistry. These visual presentations are almost always given in conjunction with an oral presentation - by a single researcher or group - and concludes a time at the end for answering questions from the audience.

Many academic institutions, hospitals, and conferences offer and might require, poster presentations as part of a degree or certification program so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process now.

Rules & Checklists

Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation

Thomas C. Erren & Phillip E. Bourne, Public Library of Science, 2007. 


How to create an effective poster presentation

Rose O. Sherman, American Nurse, 2010.


ACP Checklists for Preparing a Poster Presentation

An extremely useful source which includes:

  1. Poster production timeline (PDF)
  2. Judging criteria & rules (PDF)
  3. How to physically produce a poster (I.E hire a graphic designer, or in-house printing, etc...)
  4. Formatting tips (Font, color, images, etc...)
  5. Transportation and care of poster tips


Overall checklist (PDF)

Color & Font

Which Fonts to Use on Your Scientific Poster

"Choosing the right font (A.K.A. typeface) for your scientific poster is all about two things: readability and style. But with thousands of fonts to choose from, it can be overwhelming. So where do you start? You’ve come to the right place. Here is what you need to know to choose a clear and stylish font for your scientific poster."

Research Poster Presentation - Fonts

This Libguide from Western Carolina University outlines choices and sizes of fonts when assembling a research poster.

Best Color Palettes for Scientific Figures and Data Visualizations

"Choosing the right colors for your data visualizations improves audience comprehension and makes your work accessible to people with color blindness. Color is also an important element of designing scientific graphs and data visualizations because it is a powerful storytelling tool. Below is a comprehensive guide that will help you create your own effective scientific color palettes and provides resources to help you apply the selected colors in different data visualization platforms."

How to Select a Great Colour Scheme for Your Scientific Poster

"Making an effective scientific poster is about standing out from the crowd and presenting your hard work in the best light. But choosing a cohesive, eye-catching and stylish colour scheme is easier said than done. With no help from your design software’s default colour palette, and infinite colours to choose from, it can be overwhelming. So as our second instalment in our series of blogs about scientific poster design, we’re here to make it as easy for you as a paint-by-numbers art kit!"

How to Create a Better Research Poster

Better Posters - The User Experience

In-Person Presentations

Virtual Presentations

What's in a Poster?

\A poster is a study in summaries. When you first consider a poster, you will be tempted to fit as much of your written manuscript as possible - but this just is not possible. Even though cutting any part of your research might feel as though you are sacrificing something important, it is a necessary. Consider these basic questions when deciding what facts are most pertinent to your visual presentation:

  1. Who?
  2. What?
  3. When?
  4. Where?
  5. Why?
  6. How?

Remember, you need space for charts, photos, and any diagrams needed as a visual aid to your thesis. Keep to the main points answered by this list and save the finer details for your oral presentation.

But also remember that a poster is meant to be a visual medium. Too much wording and a viewer will have tired eyes in no time. Any visual componants need to be carefully chosen or the final product will be jumbled.

Articles of Interest

The Problem with Research Posters — and a Bold Approach to Fixing Them

NEJM Journal Watch, 31 March 2019.

  • How do I know what to include on the poster? More isn’t always better, but that lesson is lost on all of us while preparing posters. The default position? More is more. Many of these posters have so much text that they would exceed word-limits on actual submitted manuscripts, if not Victorian novels.
  • How to get noticed? This large poster with tiny text is simply hard to read — personally made worse by the fact that I’m at that stage of eye “health” where everything is either too far away or too close. As a result, most meeting participants experience research posters as a blur of information as they walk by. It doesn’t help that further distractions abound in the poster hall, including chance encounters with colleagues, friends, and the occasional giraffe, elephant or other large mammal. I mentioned that the poster halls were vast, didn’t I?
  • What’s the best way to convey the information to the (rare) person who stops by and actually wants to discuss your poster further? Here you need a good “elevator pitch,” but I always feel kind of like the weather person on the news show. “And over here [gesturing], we have both the multivariable analysis and the 7-day forecast. Don’t forget your umbrella for Tuesday!”
  • What if you get a bad poster location? Did I convey the vastness of these interior spaces with the above reference to the Airbus A380? To the giraffe/elephant? If you’d prefer another reference, I recall a time my poster was positioned in the back corner of a cavernous hall, so far from everything that I’m convinced Lewis and Clark would have skipped this part of the country as too remote or forbidding for habitation. I stood there a long time, just me and my poster, tumbleweeds rolling by … hello? Can anyone hear me?
  • What do you do with the poster after the meeting? Many young researchers wonder how to transport the thing after the meeting, which isn’t exactly airline-friendly in shape. After years of experience, I’ve finally figured it out: Unless you have a specific need for the poster already scheduled, say, “Thank you for your service,” Marie Kondo-style, and toss it in the recycling bin. Problem solved!

How to write an Attention-Grabbing Title for a Scientific Poster

"Scientific poster sessions are the best opportunity to be introduced to new, exciting, and potentially unfamiliar research topics. It’s a treasure trove of scientific know-how. But as you do a little window shopping at the session, how do you decide which poster to walk towards?

Of course, eye-catching visuals are important for drawing attention. Though naturally, your eyes are also going to be drawn to the titles of each poster. You see the typical “Investigation of X” and the classic “Characterisation of Y”.
It’s kind of what you expected. But you’re the lookout for the unexpected."