Poster Session Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to enhance your presentation and the enjoyment and understanding of your audience.


Each poster session author will be provided with one side of a free-standing 4-foot by 8-foot board. Plan to mount your materials at least 15 minutes prior to the opening of the session and remove them within one-half hour after the session closes. All illustrations, charts, etc., to be posted should be prepared in advance as materials for these purposes will not be available at the conference facilities. You will need to bring your own supply of push pins. It is also recommended that you bring extra copies of your illustrations or a sign-up sheet for people to request copies of your information. However, no duplication facilities will be available at the conference.


Each poster must have a heading in very large type, 84 pt or greater. Your name and affiliation should also be noted in large type, around 72 pt. Headings and sub-headings should be at least 36 pt. You need not use all capitals for titles and headings, for this can sometimes make them difficult to read. Other lettering, including text and lettering on illustrations or charts, should be between 18 and 24 pt, and should have double or 1.5 spacing between lines. Use a simple font such as Times, Arial or Helvetica throughout your presentation. To make something stand out, use a larger font size, bold or underline. You can also frame a section of text by putting a box around it. All material should be readable from a distance of three feet or more.


Material should be displayed in logical sequence and each sheet should be numbered. Use graphs, charts, tables, figures, pictures or lists rather than text to get your points across. Make sure your presentation flows in a logical sequence, and include an introduction, body and conclusion. Arrange your presentation ahead of time to make sure it fits within the space provided.

Visual Impact

The effectiveness of a poster presentation can be enhanced by using techniques such as mounting the sheets on colored (though not fluorescent) paper to improve the graphic impact. Please note that simplicity, ease of reading, etc., are more important than artistic flair. Illustrations should not be mounted on heavy stock as this could make them difficult to mount on poster boards. Consider the visual impact your presentation needs to make in order to attract readers in a room full of posters.

For more assistance, see: Guides to Designing Effective Posters