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Communications: Visual Aids

This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of communication and the skills necessary to communicate in various contexts. Emphasis is placed on communication theories and techniques used in interpersonal group, public, intercultural, and mass c

Before You Start

Before starting your poster, be sure to get all the necessary instructions and requirements for your final product. Check with your instructor if it's for a class. Organizations hosting poster sessions will normally have the information on their web site.

Some things you will need to know:

  • size and materials for the poster
  • any information required to be included on the poster
  • any formatting requirements
  • will the whole poster need to be printed, or is posting separate pages on a background acceptable?
  • any instructions for printing the poster
  • due date for the poster
  • if a formal oral presentation is required

Why Do a Poster Session?

You might be preparing for a poster session for a number of reasons:

  • a class assignment
  • a research display
  • a promotional event highlighting work done at RCCC
  • a scientific conference or professional meeting

Regardless of the purpose, the same basic principles of poster design and presentation apply. Some details may vary depending on the requirements of the session organizer and whether you are presenting for a class assignment or for a conference.

Helpful Web Sites

What is a Poster Session?

Posters are ways of communicating your work visually and concisely to interested viewers.  As viewers walk through the poster display area, they may skim your poster, stop to read, or ask questions.   A poster session is a good opportunity, not only to explain and promote your research or project, but to get feedback on it, make connections with researchers working in related areas, and possibly even meet a future employer.

Often held in conjunction with scientific conferences, poster sessions are an important part of the scientific communication process. They allow you to  reach a large audience more informally than a prepared research talk and to interact directly with interested viewers.


PowerPoint is commonly used for creating posters. It is available in any of the Library (Library) Information Commons areas, and can be acquired by all RCCC students. You will create your poster on one PowerPoint slide. Be sure to set the proper dimensions at the beginning, since the program defaults to standard settings for a slide show.