Classroom or work-related presentations sometimes lull listeners to sleep. Poster boards can add an element of interest by giving the audience something to look at, but it should be made interesting enough to hold their attention. You don't have to spend a lot of time on the poster, but a bit of extra planning for your poster board will have your audience sitting up and listening to what you have to say.
Write in large font. Your title, headline or points should be legible from where the audience is sitting or standing.
Write as little as possible on the poster. When you try to cram too much onto a poster board, you run the risk of overwhelming the audience. They will not want to read the entire poster and will shut out your voice as well.
Use pictures, charts and graphs to explain your presentation as much as possible. People will listen to you talk while they mull over the images on your poster board.
Use color for your charts and graphs. A white poster board with black words are fine as it's easy to read. However, color will pop in your graphs. It will be eye-catching even from a distance, leading to more interest in your poster.
Purchase a small recordable button and record a 30-second bit about your topic. Cut a small hole in your poster and tape the button into the hole from the back. Draw attention to the button and have your audience members come up and push the button. Interactive posters will stick in the listener's mind long after the presentation is over.
Put "Lift the Flap" sections on your poster. Cover a small portion of your poster with another piece of poster board. This works well when you ask a question on the flap and answer it underneath. This is another way to get the audience involved in the poster as well as adding a bit more space for words and images.
- Recordable buttons can be purchased at computer or tech stores. If you can't find one, purchase a recordable greeting card and take the button out of it.
- American Society of Primatologists: Expanded Guidelines for Giving a Poster Presentation
- American Society of Plant Biologists: How to Make a Great Poster
- Swarthmore College: Advice on Designing Scientific Posters
- North Carolina State University: Creating Effective Poster Presentations
- USDA Forest Service North Central Research Station: Advice for Posters
- daily chores reminder poster image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com