Although many poster sessions only involve informal oral presentation and conversation with your viewers, some sessions or class assignments may involve a more formal presentation to an audience. Be sure you know which you need to prepare, although some tips for preparing a regular talk will also be useful for an informal presentation.
Preparing for an informal poster presentation:
- allow plenty of preparation and rehearsal time
- identify the main points you want your viewers to take away
- prepare a brief (1-2 min.) standard talk that explains your poster and the take-away message
- anticipate questions and prepare answers
- understand the background behind your work, the methodology, how calculations were made, etc.
- rehearse your presentation
During the poster session:
- stand by your poster, but avoid blocking a view of it
- be ready to engage with interested viewers; don't get lost in other activities
- speak to passers-by, but don't corral them into spending time
- ask an introductory question to gauge how much interest or background the viewer has in your subject
- don't monopolize viewers' time going into details when they really want the big picture
- don't allow one viewer to monopolize your time and exclude other interested viewers