Poster presentations are a great way to network in field of research. Unlike a talk, you can connect with interested individuals in person and have opportunity to have meaningful conversation about the topic and get into details that you could not get into in a timed talk. Being able to talk to people also gives you a chance to troubleshoot problems you have with. These conversations are definitely a way to meet new people in your field and spark up a possible collaborations and such. Here is my guide to a good poster presentation:
- Make your figures the point of the poster and go easy on the text. Text heavy posters are turn off for a lot of people and when someone comes to your poster, they are not going to read the entire poster, but want to get the bullet points of your results.
- It might seem like common sense, but I have seen people leave out references for whatever reason. Cite your references at the end of your poster or within the poster to show respect for others' work, If people see their work uncited in your poster, it will leave a bad impression.
- Stay by your poster and look welcoming. If you look like you don't want to be there, then people will not approach your poster. Since you are going to be there for a couple of hours, make sure to bring snacks and drinks for yourself.
- Genuinely present your poster to anyone who is interested in even if you know them to be in different field. It is a great chance for you to learn how to explain your work to people who are out of field, which is very important and also good opportunity to get fresh perspective, which is always useful. I was just at a student research day at my school, and I approached a few posters by medical students, which straight out told me that the title says what I have to say lol. I might not be a doctor yet, but if someone asks you about your poster, you explain it the best of your ability.
- Last but not least, keep your presentation somewhat informal and conversational, so people can interrupt you to ask questions and such, that is how useful conversations start and the point of poster presentations are precisely that.