Tips for Presenting a Scientific Poster

Presenting a poster at an APS meeting is a great way to market your work and meet others with similar scientific interests. If you prefer one-on-one or small group conversation to speaking in front of large groups, poster sessions offer that advantage. Posters are an excellent tool for starting a conversation, but great presentation skills will bring your research to life.

Develop Your Pitch

  • Reflect on your topic, your findings, and the importance of the research. You should be able to explain your work to both scientists and nonscientists.
  • Practice your presentation with friends, family, and/or members of your department. Also practice your summary and have them ask questions.
  • Be sure your pitch has a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end that you can summarize in 10 minutes or less.
  • Rehearse and time your talk–session chairs have to keep a tight schedule.

Be Engaging

  • Stay with your poster throughout the entire session. Stand to the side so that it is easy for others to come closer and read.
  • When someone visits your poster, say hello and ask if they have any questions. Make sure to look people in the eye as you are speaking.
  • Thank your audience for their interest and feedback regarding your work.
  • Refer to the Code of Conduct for APS Meetings to familiarize yourself with what is expected of meeting attendees.

Dress Code

  • The typical dress code for scientific meetings is a work-appropriate shirt with slacks or a skirt and dress shoes. Make sure your shoes are comfortable–you will be on your feet for the entire session.

Thank Your Audience

Remember to thank all of your listeners for their time and feedback. People who have seen your presentation could be future co-workers or employers.

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