A poster is a visual presentation of your research or clinical project. It should address one central question. State the question or hypothesis clearly in the poster and use your presentation to provide a clear message. Poster sessions are an effective way to stimulate discussion among investigators and clinicians with similar interests and allow spontaneous exchange in a way that is not possible in the traditional platform presentation.
How your poster will be mounted:
Posters for the ISSTD Annual Conference will be pinned (push pins will be provided) on white foam boards (no tape allowed) that are approximately 36 inches (91.4 cm) tall and 48 inches (115 cm) wide. The foam boards will be set on easels in the poster exhibit area.
The lettering for your title should not be less than 1 inch (2.4 cm) high. A copy of your abstract (300 words or less), in large typescript, should be posted in the upper left-hand corner of the poster board. Do not mount illustrations on heavy board because these will not mount on the display boards provided.
Bear in mind that your illustrations will be viewed from distances of 3 feet (86 cm) or more. All lettering should be at least 3/8 inches high (1 cm), preferably in a bold font, or if hand-lettered, written with a regular felt-tip pen (not fine-point). Be sure to provide clear labels for each section of your presentation.
It’s helpful to provide a handout of your poster that includes your full contact information.
Title and Author
The title of your poster presentation and your name should be made in very LARGE type so that viewers can easily see the subject matter of the poster and its author from a distance (at least 1″ lettering, or 36 point font). The title, author’s name, and author’s affiliation are usually placed at the top and in the center of the poster board.
Posters usually have a similar structure to a research paper or journal article: an abstract, introduction (i.e., brief rationale or review of relevant research), method section, results section, and a conclusion or summary. You might also want to list key references. If your poster is more clinically oriented you may decide to use a different format, but breaking things down into clear sections with headings will help your colleagues understand your poster easily and quickly.
Keep your text to the bare essentials and stick to the most important ideas. You can convey details via discussion when you are standing by your poster.
- Use bullet points to simplify sections like the introduction and conclusions.
- Use large type, such as 36-point type for section headings, and 24-point type for text. Never use type smaller than 18 point for any reason.
- Make use of underlines and boldface.
- Use graphs and figures whenever possible. Make your poster visually pleasing and attractive.
- Programs like MS PowerPoint can be helpful in making your poster.
Use colored paper or poster board to back sheets of 8 1/2 x 11” paper. You can also print your poster on manuscript paper that you can get enlarged at a copy store (no larger than 36 inches (91.4 cm) tall and 48 inches (115 cm) wide). If you choose this option use the “column” and “border” options in your word processor to organize sections, and use landscape orientation and a small font (12 pt for the title, 8 pt. for the text). Use color (muted colors are best for the background, bright colors are OK for borders) in your poster.
What makes a successful poster?
Successful poster presentations are those which achieve both coverage and clarity.
Coverage: Have you provided all the obvious information? Will a casual observer walk away understanding your major findings after a quick perusal of your material? Will a more careful reader learn enough to ask informed questions?
In addition to a title/author label and abstract, most successful posters provide brief statements of introduction, method, subjects, procedure, results, and conclusions. Ask yourself, “What would I need to know if I were viewing this material for the first time?” and then state that information clearly.
Clarity: Is the sequence of information evident? Indicate the ordering of your material with numbers, letters, or arrows, when necessary. Is the content being communicated clearly? Keep it simple. Place your major points in the poster and save the nonessential but interesting sidelights for informal discussion. Be selective. Your final conclusions or summary should leave observers focused on a concise statement of your most important findings.
ISSTD presents a Best Poster Award at the Awards Dinner on Saturday of the conference. The winner of this award will receive a complimentary registration to the 2021 Annual Conference in Louisville, KY!
Bulletin Boards and push pins will be provided for displaying posters. Check in at the registration desk on Friday evening and Saturday morning for further instructions. Posters must be on display by the end of the first Plenary Presentation on Saturday morning.