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University Academic Programs

DU Research & Scholarship Showcase


A research poster is the perfect way to capture your research and scholarly work in order to engage an audience. Our poster workshop will show students, regardless of subject, how to present their work in a poster session. This workshop is highly recommended for students presenting in the Showcase. For more information about poster making workshops, please contact The Writing Center.

poster Design workshop dates

All students are encouraged to watch the Poster Workshop webinar to learn tips and tricks on how to design and create a Research Showcase poster.

Poster Making Resources

Click here to access the Poster Making Workshop slides. You can also find detailed tips and instructions for poster creation and formatting on the Writing Center website.


What size should my poster be?

Your poster should be no larger than 36" (height) x 42" (width)

What material do I need to bring to hang my poster?

Each presenter will be provided an easel, backing board, and clips to attach your poster to the backing board. You are solely  responsible for bringing your poster to the event, but are also welcome to drop your poster off to the Office of Graduate Education prior to the event (see poster drop off information above).  

How do I locate where I should display my poster?

When you arrive to the event you will be provided with a map and the location number you have been assigned.

When can I set up my poster?

Students must set up posters between 2:30 and 3:00 pm on the day of the event (Wednesday, May 6th). 

How should my poster look?
  • Students are encouraged to attend one of the Poster Design Workshops (details above) to learn tips and tricks on how to design and create a Research Showcase poster. 
  • It should be done so that the viewer can easily follow it - type should be large enough to be viewed from several feet away - flow charts should be simple, leaving more complicated explanations to verbal interaction between the presenter and the viewers.
  • Allow ample time to prepare your poster. Use a crisp, clean, and strong title. Do not tell the entire research history. Present only enough data to support your conclusions and show the originality of the work. The best posters display a succinct statement of major conclusions at the beginning, followed by supporting text in later segments and a brief summary at the end.
  • All posters should feature a title, your name, and the name of the institution where the research was performed and should credit others, as appropriate. The title lettering should be about 2" to 3" (5 cm to 7.5 cm) with subheadings ½" to 1' high (1.25 cm to 2.5 cm).
  • All lettering should be legible from about 5 feet (1.5 m) away. Text material should be approximately 24 points (1/4"/.625 cm).
  • Convert tabular material to a graphic display, if possible.
  • Use color to add emphasis and clarity.
  • Make illustrations simple and bold. Enlarge photos to show pertinent details clearly.
  • Displayed materials should be self-explanatory, freeing you for discussion.
How do I present a poster?

All students are encouraged to attend one of the offered Presenting Your Research workshops (see the presenter tab for more information) to learn how to concisely and cohesively present your research to a wide audience. An academic poster is a summary of your research, scholarly, or creative project in a visually 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 poster should be able to stand on its own as a clear, logical presentation of your work, without any explanation from you.

To do a poster 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 your are speaking too slowly, and without fillers like "um," "uh," "like," "you know," and "okay."

It helps to practice on your friends and family first!

Poster 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 Your Poster
  • Arrive early at the display site. Hang your poster square and neat.
  • 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 your poster 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