Skip to Main Content

Poster Presentation Design

Provides basic design tips for those creating poster presentations for class or research conferences.

What is a Poster Presentation?

In its most basic form, a poster presentation is when someone wishes to share information regarding their research or experiment by presenting an overview of the questions, hypotheses, and results data on a poster, but with the researcher/presenter on hand to answer questions.

During poster sessions at research conferences, there is usually a large room or exhibit hall set up with many stations. At each station, you can expect to find a researcher/presenter, an easel or other device to help display a poster, and a poster. Once the poster session begins, audience members are allowed to walk through the room exploring the different poster stations in whichever order they choose. Audience members will likely only stop at stations that specifically interest or intrigue them. 

Why Poster Presentations?

Poster presentations allow you to disseminate and share your research in a short amount of time to a wide audience. It is the start of a conversation about your research questions with a broader community. Poster presentations allow for immediate feedback and questions from audience members that wish to learn more. You never know how sharing your research with others will affect you or them. Beyond being a back-and-forth interaction and a networking opportunity, your poster may inspire your audience. They may want to learn more themselves, or wish to work with you in order to take the research to the next level. Additionally, they may ask questions that inspire you to consider your research and its practical applications from a perspective that you haven't considered yet.

Guidelines for Presenters

Closely follow the poster presentation instructions and guidelines provided by the conference organizers. These guidelines can sometimes vary greatly from one conference to another, but guidelines should be provided to presenters when they submit presentation proposals or when they are notified that their poster proposal has been accepted/approved.

This guide is intended to provide some best practices for designing and making posters with the audience in mind, as well as some tips for preparing to be a poster presenter. Use the side navigation on the left side of this page or the links below to learn more about:

Organizing Your Data & Results

Poster Aesthetics and Accessibility

How to Create a Poster

Day Before & Day Of Preparations


The most important tip we can share for drafting posters for presentations is- please give yourself and the print shop staff enough time. Draft your posters early and submit the finalized computer file to print shop staff no less than 5 days before the poster is to be presented.