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ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting

Your Presentation

Poster presentation tips

People who are going to present posters should carefully prepare and print their work before arriving to the conference. The standard size of posters is A0, that is, 118.9 cm high x 84.1 cm wide, or 46.8 inches high x 33.1 inches wide. Larger posters are not acceptable. Slightly smaller ones (as small as 110 cm high x 80 cm wide) can be accepted.

Notice that posters will be displayed in portrait orientation, not landscape position.

You should bring and mount you poster at the scheduled time. The conference posters will be fastened to the display boards using double face adhesive tape provided by the local organization. Your poster may be printed in resistant matte paper, glossy paper, vinyl or wrinkle resistant fabric. Heavy posters may be difficult to fasten. Don’t add any rigid wooden or plastic staff to your poster, please.

A nice poster cannot be prepared the day before you are supposed to present it. Allow plenty of time to prepare and produce your poster. You will need to plan your content, design the layout, write and edit it, organize production and printing. You must also be prepared to explain and discuss your work at the conference.

Posters are an effective way of communicating concisely, visually and attractively, and can be a powerful way of getting information across. Academic posters should summarize research concisely and attractively, to help publicize it and generate discussion.

Posters can reach a wide audience as they may be displayed for several hours or days, at the conference. An effective poster can make a strong impact, so it's worth developing your poster planning skills.

Answer these three questions:

1. What is the most important/interesting/astounding finding from my research project?

2. How can I visually share my research with conference attendees? Should I use charts, graphs, photos, images?

3. What kind of information can I convey during my talk that will complement my poster?

Since a poster must communicate so concisely, you will need to spend some time identifying your key points. Decide what you need to communicate, and how. What is your main message? What does your viewer need to know? Identify the key points, always keeping your topic or task in mind. Once you've decided on the main content, make a rough draft of the information you need.

Like other types of academic writing, an academic poster should be well organized, with clear headings and subheadings. Once you've identified your main content and structure, you need to identify the graphics and formatting which will communicate your message best. How will you organize your content visually? How might you use color and type to enhance visual impact?

A poster should be legible from about two meters, and attract interest from about five meters. To be legible at a distance, the main title should be around 70-100 pts, subheadings around 40 pts, body text around 24 pts. Format headings and subheadings consistently. This helps structure your information visually.

Aim for a word count of about 300 to 800 words. 300 words leave plenty of room for graphics, while 800 words would be more text heavy. For clarity, use a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica. Make sure there is good contrast between text and background.

Since you are reporting on a piece of research, your structure will be similar to a research paper. As described in detail by Colin Purrington, conference poster "is a big piece of paper" featuring an interesting "short title, an introduction to your burning question, an overview of your novel approach, your amazing results", possibly shown in graphical form, "some insightful discussion of aforementioned results, a listing of previously published articles that are important to your research, and some brief acknowledgement of the tremendous assistance and financial support" provided by others (Purrington, C.B. "Designing conference posters". Retrieved 27 March 2016, from

There are no rigid rules, but one usually uses the following elements:


Title of your work: Should briefly convey the interesting issue, drawing interest of by-passers

Author(s) name(s), Status (Student, Researcher, Professor...), Institution(s)

Contact: E-mail(s) of the author(s)

Abstract: As highlited by Colin Purrington "Do not include an abstract on a poster. A poster is an abstract of your research".

Introduction: Get the viewer interested in your issue, hypothesis or "question while using the absolute minimum of background information and definitions". "Unlike a manuscript, the introduction of a poster is a wonderful place to put a photograph or illustration that communicates some aspect of your research question" (Purrington, C.B. "Designing conference posters". Retrieved 27 March  2016, from

Materials, method, approach: Briefly describe what you have done to address the questions presented in the introduction. You may include relevant images here.

Results: This is usually the largest section of the poster (except if you reached no results at all). Refrain, however, of writing a long essay.

Discussion, conclusion: State your answer to the initial questions, or whether your hypothesis was supported or otherwise. State the relevance of your findings. Do not repeat what you have already written.

References: Main bibliographical references used in your research (just a few ones).

Acknowledgments: People and institutions who helped you to develop your research.  

Try to provide a clear entry point for readers, and a logical visual flow. Group related information. Use numbering or arrows if linked content should be read in a particular order. Avoid either oversimplifying (too little useful information) or overcomplicating (too much information).

The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. Images may be very important for visual communication. You should be aware that the appearance of the images may be become very poor, when they are enlarged to the poster printing size. You should select large images. If their printed size will be around 25 cm (or 10 inches), they should have at least 1,500 pixels. Images, tables, graphs and other visual aids should have their own short legends.  

At the scheduled time of poster presentation, you will be asked to stand beside your poster, say a few words, and answer questions. This allows people to discuss the content in a more informal setting than during an oral presentation, which might have a very large audience. It is also possible to have more detailed one to one discussions with the people who are interested in your poster. It's a good idea to prepare handouts for people to take away. You may also prepare a full written version of your paper, uploading it to the conference site, so that those people who are interested in your work can read it.

ISHPSSB & ABFHiB 2017 Meeting   
International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB)   
Associação Brasileira de Filosofia e História da Biologia (ABFHiB)   
São Paulo, Brazil, 16 to 21 July, 2017   

São Paulo, Brazil
16 to 21 July, 2017

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