Jump to content

Does anyone know how to make a poster?

Recommended Posts


This is my first post in this forum. I'm willing to attend a conference about "Teaching English", new methods ...etc. I'm really interested in participating with a poster on "teaching English literature" but I have no idea about designing posters or whatsoever. Actually, this will be my first conference at all. Any help? 

Another question: DO you think presenting a poster is as impressing as presenting a paper, in terms of admissions decision? I'm trying to build up  my CV for next application cycle and I wanna make sure I do it right. Thanks :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rose,


Your post caught my eye because I created my first academic poster for a conference last year and really enjoyed the process and results. 


My advice:


1. Use Adobe InDesign--- this will make your life much easier, and could teach you a new skill in the process. With minimal working knowledge of Photoshop, I was able to create a fairly complicated layout in InDesign. On the other hand, if you are truly technologically-challenged, I've heard that Microsoft PowerPoint is a good way to get the job done.


2. Use as many pretty images as possible-- seriously. People at these conferences will only stop and look at your poster if it is ridiculously image heavy. Think of it as eye candy! 


Presenting a poster is not as impressive as presenting a paper, but it is a good way to ease yourself into conference participation. Also, if you can actually get people to stop at look, it is a great, low-key way to network. It does help fill out a CV.


In fact, my poster ended up helping me land two very competitive internships. I gave my interviewers 11 x 17" color copies of the poster as a "take-away."  I know it helped, because they each let me know how much they liked it when they called to offer me the spot!


Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seconding that design is paramount.


In my field, posters are a great place to network with more seasoned academics, away from the crush of the invited talks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used PowerPoint for my poster. I set the dimensions and off I went. Use lots of images, no long sections of text, try to make it somewhat symmetrical. Use an appealing color combination.


A poster is a great way to ease into conferences and begin networking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For some poster design tips, I would recommend this blog: http://www.betterposters.blogspot.com  People volunteer to send in their posters and the authors give a critique and everyone learns!


In the past, I've used PowerPoint (actually OpenOffice Presentations) because it was free. If you can get free access to something like InDesign, that would be super awesome!


As for posters vs. presenting a paper, I guess this is field oriented, since we don't usually "present papers" in mine. Most conferences are either poster or oral presentation (which may or may not be a paper that's already written -- sometimes it's just an update of their work or a single cool result). Oral slots are generally more prestigious than poster talks because when there are time/space limitations (almost always), oral presentations are generally assigned in some priority order and then the remaining spots get posters. In addition, some conferences will limit you to just 1 talk submission but unlimited (or many more) poster submissions. I guess the hierarchy would be Invited Talk > Contributed Talk > Contributed Poster. So, I would recommend that people always select "Talk" when given a choice between Talk or Poster but a poster is still better than not attending the conference sometimes!


That said, posters are still a good way to get people talking about your research, to show that you have experience presenting/communicating your work on a CV, to network and it's usually what most people present at their first conference. I also like presenting posters because (1) it forces me to get the poster finished and printed before leaving for the conference, so that I don't procrastinate and end up working on my slides during the conference and (2) I feel better speaking to people in small groups / one-on-one during poster sessions than to talk to everyone in the audience at once! However, the downside is that a talk is over in about 15 minutes (in most conferences in my field) while you might have to stand next to your poster session for 3-4 hours while everyone is at the coffee table! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use