Poster presentations

Presenting your research in a large poster format is normal in the sciences especially at big conferences. However, posters are becoming more common as a form of assignment in all subjects as they combine oral, visual, and written communication skills. 

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources.  

Not an essay on a board

Too much text will overwhelm your audience. Think of a main message or aspect of your research that you want to convey. This handout gives a quick summary of key things to consider when designing a poster:

Plan your poster

Don’t jump straight into producing your poster. First consider the purpose and audience of your poster, and the main message you want to convey. Plan your ideas on paper first. Decide on one clear message and the steps needed to communicate that message.

Good visual design

A well designed poster looks professional and authoritative. Consider the layout, font type and size, use of white space, images and graphs, and use of colour. See this guide for good design principles:

Blocks of information

Think in terms of blocks of information arranged in columns (like a comic or newspaper). Sketch out your layout on paper before creating it. See the beginning of this blog post for some clear block layout templates in both landscape and portrait orientation:

Use Powerpoint

A simple way to create your poster is using a single slide in Powerpoint. See this video on using Powerpoint to design a poster:


For a high-quality, colour poster in a large size format, use a professional print service like Brookes Print. Check any size, file and printing requirements before you commit to a certain design.


The principles of good oral presentations apply, such as not reading it directly, or standing in front so your audience can’t see. But a poster presentation can be more informal and like a conversation with multiple people. See this short overview of what to consider, and the longer video with more developed presentation tips: