First Poster Session Tips and Tricks

If you are a little bit unsure about how your first poster session may go, that is normal! We've compiled some of the best tips and tricks on how you can succeed on your first poster session (and subsequent ones as well!)

  • Look excited! You’re presenting research you’ve invested a lot of time into. You should be excited to share your results. Judges love to see enthusiasm!

  • Introduce yourself! Conferences are a great place to network. You want the audience to know you and your work, so don’t forget to introduce yourself

  • Start with the three W’s: What is your research topic, what are your results, and why is it important. Use these three questions to pull in your audience. 

  • Tell a story. Your research should not just include the facts, you should also build a narrative that you can deliver in ten minutes or less. It should have a beginning, middle, and end, and should include graphs or charts.

    • The beginning should focus on the background information of your study, how it led to your research question, and what specifically you are focusing on (i.e.a part of the brain, a specific type of disease, or a specific type of treatment.)

    • The middle should include how you conducted your research question, and methods you used, and anything interesting you came across.

    • The end should discuss the results of study, what they indicate and any further paths of research you could take with these results. 

  • Practice, practice, practice. It is important to practice your presentation before the day of the conference, that way you feel prepared and confident going in. Try presenting to friends or family members and make sure they give constructive feedback. 

  • Make sure the audience understands. Since the theme of AZPURC this year is Interdisciplinary Knowledge, some members of your audience may not be well-versed in the scientific area you are studying. Make sure you leave room for questions and clarify anything that might be confusing.

  • Dress to Impress! Remember, you’re at a research conference, and you should look the part. You don’t need to be in a three-piece suit, but try and aim for business casual.

  • Create an interesting title. The title is the first thing your audience sees on your poster. Make sure your title is interesting enough that it makes someone want to stop and look, but don’t make it too long.

  • Make an eye-catching poster. Design is just as important as information. Just like the title, you want the design of your poster to draw in the audience. Stay away from anything to extreme, like neon colors or glitter. 

  • Keep it clean and concise. Some studies are long, so you don’t need to include every single detail in your poster board. Keep your information concise; focus on the main points in each section.

  • Consider making a pamphlet. That way your audience has something to take away from your poster board. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just something that highlights your research.