Poster Presentation Guidelines

Jim Crumley

November 11, 2010
There is no point in waiting. The train stopped running years ago.

All the schedules, the brochures,

The bright-colored posters full of lies,

Promise rides to a distant country

That no longer exists.


1 Introduction

A poster a presentation is method of displaying your results that has some things in common with both written and spoken presentations. Like a written paper, a poster should be understandable to a reader even if you are not there. Like a scientific talk, much of your emphasis should be on delivering your results visually, and you should avoid using too many words.

The remainder of this document contains recommendations for making a successful poster. Many sets of instructions for creating a good poster [; 

2 General Guidelines

3 Specific Requirements

4 Poster Session Guidelines

For our poster session, we will be hanging the posters on the walls of Peter Engel Science Center. The poster session will be divided into two parts, with one member of each lab group in each part for most groups. While the first group is presenting their posters, the members of the second group along with Physics department faculty members (and anyone else that wanders by) will circulate past the first groups posters listening to the presentations and asking questions. While viewing the posters, audience members will also be evaluating them. After the first group is done, the second group will present.

Part of your grade on your posters will be based on how your poster presentation is rated by other students and Physics faculty members. Another part of the grade will be based on my evaluation of how well you performed in rating other student’s posters. You may not rate every poster equally and you must include reasons with your evaluations. You will get to see the reviews of your poster after the presentations are done.

5 Poster Evaluation

Poster presentations will be evaluated equally on Contents and Delivery. The posters should contain the necessary parts and describe the physics of the experiment, and they should do it clearly while following the guidelines listed here. The evaluation guidelines that will be included on the review forms are listed below.


  1. There should be an appropriate balance of contents among Theory, Experiment, and Analysis.
  2. The emphasis should be on experimental work carried out in lab, and on analysis of the data.
  3. Connections should be made to the underlying physics.


  1. Presentations should be organized in a logical way, with the necessary components; for instance, posters and papers should include an Abstract and Conclusion.
  2. Visuals or Graphics should be of appropriate quality.
  3. Talks should fit within the time limit, allowing time for questions from the audience.
  4. Professionalism should be maintained in regard to language, attire, attitude, and responses to questions.


   Block, S. M., Do’s and Don’ts of Poster Presentation, Biophysical Journal, 71,, 1996.

   Day, R. A., How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, third ed., Orynx Press, Phoenix, Arizona, 1998.

   JSR, Poster presentations,, 2007.