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University Academic Programs

DU Research & Scholarship Showcase


In the past, we have required students to generate a research poster for the Showcase. Due to the recent pivot to an online format, we now encourage students to create any type of visual representation of their research. For more information about creating a visual for this event, please visit the Portfolio page created by the Writing Center. 

creating a visual

All students are encouraged to visit the Portfolio site for more details on how to create an effective visual for this event. Let the resources on the site serve as a guide to how to present your research and what content should be included.


You can find detailed tips and instructions for poster creation and formatting on the Writing Center's Portfolio page.


How do I present my visual?

All students are encouraged to present during the Zoom portion of the event. The visual will present a summary of your research, scholarly, or creative project in an engaging way. It must be academically sound, highlighting the context of your work (through photographs, maps, etc.), your methods, and results (with graphs, charts, photographs, etc.).

The visual should be able to stand on its own as a clear, logical presentation of your work, without any explanation from you.

To do a presentation, you should prepare an "elevator speech" – a one to two-minute summary of your project that you could deliver to anyone during a typical elevator ride. Don't wait for viewers to ask a question; say, "Would you like to hear about my research in about two minutes or less?" This frees them from having to read and figure it all out themselves. Then offer to answer questions. If you don't know an answer, admit it, speculate with the person, or ask what s/he thinks. Be sure to check to see if your listener understands the technical aspects of your explanation and if what you're saying makes sense.

Be sure to speak loudly enough to be heard, slow enough that you think you are speaking too slowly, and without fillers like "um," "uh," "like," "you know," and "okay."

It helps to practice with your friends and family first!

Presentations can be a fun way to engage in-depth with your research; it can also be a great way to communicate your research to others. The practice of creating a visual representation of your work can also help you to find key messages and recognize themes in your work that you might not have otherwise realized.

A Few Tips for Presenting
  • Know the audience. Use lay language and explain any disciplinary terms you use.
  • Focus on the evidence: your graphics.
  • Be focused and know the point you want to get across
  • Provide a brief, clearly stated background and walk the audience through the content of the poster by interpreting all results
  • Use it primarily as a visual aid - don't read it!
  • Prepare 30 second, 2 minute, & 5 minute overviews of your poster.
  • Tell viewers ...
    • the context of your problem and why it is important (Introduction),
    • your objective and what you did (Objective & Methods),
    • what you discovered (Results), and
    • what the answer means in terms of the context (Discussion).

Adapted from: Northern Arizona University, Evergreen State College and NC State University