You may be asked to present your poster in a variety of different scenarios. This could involve providing an informal oral presentation or maybe you will be required give a more formal presentation of your research to an audience.
The following are recommendations to assist you with this process. However confirm with your supervisor/ lecturer whether their are specific requirements in this area.
The advice provided is divided up into sections. Their is information on preparing to present a poster and suggestions on how to behave during the presentation.
Preparing to Present
- Practise 2, 5, and 10-minute versions of your poster presentation. It is always advisable to have a dry run with class mates. One method to practice your presentation is to use the Professor Smith-Chant’s SPEW method.
- Make sure you can sum up your poster’s key points and conclusions in 2-3 sentences.
- Understanding the background and interests of the audience allows you to adapt your material and your delivery to meet their needs.
- Practice starting your script from different sections of your poster.
- Think about which parts of your poster will be the most challenging to explain. Work on explaining these points clearly.
- Anticipate people’s questions and how you will answer them.
- Submit your poster, in the appropriate file type, for your event.
- Produce a small postcard summary of your poster which people can take away with them.
- Arrive and install your poster on time. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies (pins, tape, etc.) to undertake this task.
- Have paper and pen/pencil ready to make notes and to collect contact information.
- Dress appropriately – your lecturer/ supervisor can give you tips on this. Generally it's better to err on the side caution and dress in a professional outfit (Pitt,2018).
During the Presentation
- Situate yourself to the side of the poster in order to avoid blocking peoples view.
- Make eye contact with people and smile as you present your poster.
- Place a bowl of sweets beside your poster. Sweets will always attract people to your presentation.
- Always introduce yourself and make sure to get your guests names.
- Do not put your hands in your pockets while speaking to the audience.
- Speak to passers-by but do not push them into spending time at your poster.
- Do not read from the poster or pre-arranged script. Try to speak naturally.
- Spend extra time explaining the important parts of your research.
- Ask questions of the audience to gauge their level of interest in the area so you can target your presentation to meet their expectations. An example of questioning would be “Do you want me to say a little more about my research?”
- Summarize each section before you move onto the next section.
- Do not allow one interested viewer to monopolize your time. Use your pen and paper to jot their contact details and offer to speak to them or correspond with them at a later date.
- Finish any conservation on a professional note. For instance you should thank people for listening and taking to you about your project (Pitt,2018).