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Poster Creation and Presentation

A guide to resources for creating visually engaging posters to present your academic research at research fairs or academic conferences.

Transporting the Poster

  • Mailing tubes or boxes are a great way to safely transport your poster to the venue.
  • Wrapping the rolled poster in some cheap paper or Mylar can help in sliding the poster into the tube.
  • Tying the rolled poster with string or rubber bands so it doesn't expand in the tube is helpful when the time comes to remove it from the tube.
  • Yoga mat straps are helpful when carrying tubes long mat strap

Installing the Poster

  • Find out in advance what kind of surface will be used - a wall, bulletin board, easel, table only, etc. If only a table then a tri-fold poster board display may be required or some other support system used.
  • Determine if hook and loop fasteners or push pins will be provided.

Handouts and Supplementals

  • woman takes a photo with her phoneProvide take-ways - literally!  A handout of the main points from your poster can be useful to provide. Print copies of your poster on 8.5 x 11 handouts to distribute to users.
  • Consider having a notepad or provide sticky notes to collect name/contact information for any visitors who would like to leave a comment or contact name. (Journal editors often browse poster sessions seeking future authors.)
  • Bring any bibliographies, related works and/or reprints related to your work to share with your audience.
  • If a table is not available, you can put your handouts in an envelope attached to the bulletin board surface.
  • Business cards are useful to provide.
  • Provide a short URL for visitors to view and share your work. See "Archive Your Work," below.
  • Viewers take photos of the posters they want to remember or refer to later. Be sure your contact information is large enough to be visible from a photo taken from a digital camera or phone.


Image on flickr: European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, "_LMM7447" - licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Interacting with Viewers

  • Stand to the side of your poster so viewers can see it easily.people stand near research posters (Image on flickr: European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, "LMM9006" - licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
  • Make eye contact and be approachable.
  • Give the viewer time to read your poster.


(Image on flickr: European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, "LMM9006" - licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Video vignettes from Technically Speaking project features advice on speaking concisely. Based on Jospeh  Gallian article "Advice on giving a good PowerPoint presentation" (Math Horizons 13, 2006,, p.25-27).

Archive Your Work

  • Scholarsphere logo with globe and text You should consider publishing your poster in ScholarSphere, Penn State's institutional repository, so you can link to it on your resume. For posters created in PowerPoint, you can simply save as a PDF and upload that version.
  • If you don't have an appropriate digital file, you can take a high- quality photograph and post that instead.