In the humanities and social sciences, posters are an increasingly common way of presenting research findings in a creative way. Our own is one of an increasing number of academic conferences to include an exhibition of research posters alongside the more traditional papers and panels.
Presenting a research poster can be an especially useful way of postgraduates beginning to share questions and insights without having to worry about standing up in front of the great and good of their field.
For more established scholars they can also be a useful way of thinking differently about presenting research.
Posters come in many styles and formats. At the Social History Society conference, presenters can use whatever presentation style is appropriate to showcase their research. So if you are preparing a poster it might be useful to seek advice or support for designing the poster from your university’s media centre.
There are also many websites that offer suggestions and examples of posters to help presenters.
Some useful websites include:
Posters for our annual conference can be laminated and tacked up on the notice board, or can be mounted on a tri-fold poster board and set on the table provided at the conference. The size of the poster is limited to the dimensions of the notice board or table on which the poster is displayed.
Too much text on the poster will make it difficult for people to read, so presenters should use a maximum of 800 words. Font size of at least 36 point should be utilized so that the display can be seen from a distance.
The poster should include useful information such as contact details, key research aims, and conclusions. Arguments should be made clear and concise so that readers can easily understand a presenter’s research findings.
Presenters can also run a short PowerPoint presentation, video, music, etc. on their laptop to supplement their poster presentation.
In 2018 our conference will once again feature an exhibition of research posters from each of our conference strands. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote on their favourite poster during the conference. The winner will receive a cash prize.
At our conferences, each presenter has a notice board that is 4’ × 8’ landscape-format, a draped 2’ × 6’ table, chair, and tacks. Internet access will be available to poster presenters, and an electrical outlet will be provided upon request. If presenters intend to use a laptop as part of your poster presentation, they will need to bring your own computer.
Poster presenters may want to circulate near their posters during break times (coffee, tea and lunch times) but are not required to do so. Poster presenters are also encouraged, but not required, to have business cards and information sheets about their research on-hand to give to conference attendees.