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Help With Poster Presentations!!!

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snowhite

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I was wondering if anyone has had a lot of experience with poster presentations. I have submitted mine to 4 different conferences and have just recently found out that I was accepted to present at one in a few weeks, but have no earthly idea what to expect since I have never done a poster presentation quite like this.

I have done basic descriptive epidemiological statistical analyses on health care access, so in all honesty, it's not that exciting. The posters that I've seen have the purpose/objective/background, methods, results and conclusions on them with a few graphs...bascially cut and paste from the abstract. So, is this what you all have typically done? I cannot spend a lot of time on the poster since I have final exams that week and the week after, but I would still like to present. I'm not expecting to win any prizes since the research isn't novel, but I'd like to at least have the experience of presenting a poster.

How do you start making the poster presentation? In powerpoint? Do you go to kinkos or some other copy place to get them to put it onto a poster board or is some other way? How do you carry this especially if traveling on a plane? What kinds of questions do they ask you? I'm guessing you're supposed to dress professionally (i.e. suits)?

Any...and I mean ANY advice anyone can offer would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!
 

RxnMan

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Whoa, there! Calm down!

First of all, congratulations.

Second of all, doing a poster takes a little time, but done well, it's something that you can be really proud of.

I generally start mine off with PowerPoint. Go into File>Page Setup and alter the page size to match your conference guidelines (usually posted on the conference website under abstracts and submissions or in your acceptance email). Then I use a standard three or four column format of:

Intro
Hypothesis
*Statement of clinical significance
Methods (*divided out into bite-sized chunks)
Results
Discussion
*Conclusions
*Acknowledgements
References

*added depending upon conference rules/available space

In PowerPoint you'll see there's autoshapes in the lower-left corner. I use the lines options to create borders between sections. My old format used a dark blue background (went from lighter to darker from upper-right to lower-left) with yellow lettering and headers.

About colors - van Gogh knew that colors across the color wheel were different enough to set each other off and make each seem more intense. Don't do that here. Your poster should be easily read and approachable, not burn out your reader's retinas (no fuscia, no bright yellow).

Feel free to PM me about more suggestions.
 

RxnMan

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A couple of other things:

It's generally ok to cut & paste content from your abstract, but you may have excess space - always try to use an entire line of characters. For example, your paragraph is this:

xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx
xxx

make it look like this:

xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxx<----fill in here

Poster area is valuable, so use all of it if you have extra. Elaborate on points if you couldn't fit it under the abstract character limit.

If this is a big conference, then you may want to include a conference logo at the bottom with the year (it also dates the poster).

I put the logos of the participating institutions in the upper left and right hand corners of the poster. e.g., if you went to NYU and worked with St. Mary's hospital, I'd put NYU's logo in the upper left and St. Mary's in the upper right.

Printing is a bit of a challenge. The number of text boxes gets to be big. Always try to delete empty text boxes and have a clean page. Sometimes text boxes and figures can get rearranged when they're spooled to the printer. To avoid this, get to a finished draft. Select all and group everything into one object. Then, if the printer makes a last-minute dimension change, it'll all be proportional and less noticable.
 
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