This month as part of my research work, I am going to present my results at a conference. This has been exciting for me, and putting together the poster has been a fun way to see how much work I’ve done and what it all means.
But I soon realized that giving a poster talk was nothing like presentations I’ve given in the past. Here are a few differences between a poster and a powerpoint presentation that I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Keep it short: Oftentimes, when we give powerpoint presentations we have 10-15 minutes to talk, but during poster sessions your spiel should be <5 minutes. You are giving the highlights, not the details.
Don’t talk about everything: In powerpoint presentations, showing a slide that you never talk about is silly--why do it? However, you do want to include information on your poster that you don’t talk about. This enables people who are interested to stay back and read the specifics, and ask questions on topics you otherwise didn’t have time to address.
Point to important info: While powerpoint slides are self-contained and you get to pick what shows up when you talk, your poster audience gets to see your entire visual presentation at once. It is important to point out which figures and bullets you’re discussing at a given time so they can keep track of where you are.
Hopefully with this information you can better know what to expect when making posters for class or work!
- Joanna Slusarewicz