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Preparing a poster: a guide for early-career researchers

Image: CTBTO [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Why do some conference posters attract a crowd, while others barely get a glance? Because top poster presenters have pared down their message to the essentials and tapped their inner artist for inspiration, says Susan Allen.

A research poster is your opportunity to showcase the best of the best of your work. It is a visual means of presenting and selling your results and ideas. To put together a good poster you can’t just be concerned about what you’re saying, as the way you say it is paramount.

For a poster, just as with a painting in a gallery, colour and composition are crucial. A memorable title is important too. You want your poster to be the one that draws the viewer closer, the one that they stop in front of, not one of the many that are scanned en route to the coffee. Then, when they do stop, it needs to resonate with a clear, vibrant and accessible message that entices them to stay and read on.

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