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Conference posters & Short presentations

Conference posters & Short presentations

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Conference posters & Short presentations

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  1. Conference posters & Short presentations By Andreas Grondoudis

  2. Contents • Conference poster (G.Stylianou, Ch 13 of text) • Advantages & disadvantages • Why do people like them • Facilities • Planning • Common mistakes • Short presentation (Zobel & Ch 18 of text) • Content & Organisation • Introduction & Conclusion • Preparation, Delivery & Figures • The audience and questions

  3. Conference poster • Purpose • To present the main points of your work (~size 1.5m x 1m) • To give enough information to inform, but to be simple, clear and creative. • To present it so that it is visually pleasing and does not look too dense, ill conceived or sloppy.

  4. Advantages • Presenting a poster is a far less nerve-wracking experience than giving an oral presentation • Conference participants can choose to quickly scan posters or study them in detail • They are a visual medium and can be presented very attractively • The presenter gets personal contact with those interested in them

  5. Disadvantages of a poster • You don’t have audience. • You have to attract audience • Space is limited • A poster takes more time and can cost more to prepare than in an oral presentation • Research, information, selection, placement, text, attractiveness, catchiness and more • People may not give attention to the poster

  6. What people like in a poster • Something that doesn’t take long to read • Only a small amount of text • Lots of white space • An interesting catchy title in a large font • Can be read at a distance of 2 meters • Color • The viewer is led through the material • Figures with good captions

  7. Facilities • Your work • The internet ( • Powerpoint is more than enough

  8. Planning the poster • Consider how the title will appear • Work out what the message is • Expand the message and focus only on a few points • Work out how to let the illustrations tell the story • Also important • Make sure you know the size and shape of the poster • Find out the length of the viewing session • Work out how much details information is needed • Make sure it is legible from a distance of 1.5 – 2 meters

  9. Title Author(s) and affiliation Abstract Results (1) Results (3) Results (5) Results (2) Results (4) Background/intro Conclusions Methods (1) Methods (2) Future Development References

  10. Common Mistakes • Include far too much information • Main points not made clear • Too much information crammed in • Too much detail • Font too small • The flow of information is not clear • Figures and tables are placed illogically in relation to the text • Tables contain far too much information • Information not grouped • Photographs enlarged beyond their capabilities • Too much black text: lack of white space

  11. Short presentations • Scientist usually have to present their work • Factors affecting • Skill of the speaker • Interest of the audience • Contrary to an article • Leaves no permanent record • Can include inaccuracies or generalities • What is essential for a talk is different from that of an article paper

  12. Content • Content must be selected carefully • Usually based on an article or thesis but you cannot include too much details (short remember?) • Depends on.. • The available time • The 'available' audience (usually more diverse) • You might have to introduce more specific information • Think of • what you are trying to 'teach/explain' them • What the audience needs to know in order to 'get it' • The material should be • Clear, to the point; not to specific or too general • Never too much (you'll either hurry, or run overtime)

  13. Organisation • Talks are linear they have: start, middle, finish • No back and forth like a paper • No "take a 5' minute break" and return • No "search the internet" for the made claim • Here is a suggested structure: • the subject of the talk; • any (relevant) background; • the experiments or results; • conclusions or implications of results • Ensure all topics are relevant • Distinguish good to know material and must know material • If you skip something let them know • Make sure the timing is correct

  14. The introduction and conclusion • The introduction • Must be a 'good' one. • The first few sentences must capture the audience • Possibility: You can start with a tale or an anecdote, that will illustrate the goal of the talk. if you can make it funny, all the better • First give them the goal of the talk • Then give them the structure • Never start without an introduction • Make a starting slide • The talk title • All authors names • Identify yourself so that the audience knows who you are. • The conclusion • End the talk clearly • Maybe review what was said and what they should take away

  15. Preparation • It's not a good idea to write the whole thing out. • Have notes to remind you what you want to say • Rehearse the talk often enough and time yourself so that you get the timing right. • Don't learn it by heart, just familiarise yourself with the contents • Learn to use any equipment that is used (projectors, laser pointers, etc) • Get someone to listen to a rehearsal so that you have some feedback

  16. Delivery and figures • Use slides/overheads showing text or figures • Provide reference points • Illustrate results or interesting facts and figures • Avoid just reading them (they are there as a guide, including non-complete sentences) • Don't overcrowd slides with text; crammed text does not look good • Figures • Good figures make a point must easier to get across • Label everything, use colour, animation if you like • Delivery • Speak clearly, slower than a conversation, loud enough to be heard, keep you head up, face the audience; eye-contact is not a bad thing • Avoiding umming, pacing and gesturing/waving, don't use sheets of paper to hide part of the slide • Expect to be nervous… Rehearsals help

  17. Audience and Questions • It is intimidating • A silent audience is good – they are paying attention; • Remember, they are there and they want to hear what you have to say (they showed up) • Use this, build up a relationship • Handle distractions tactfully (even with some humour) • Questions come at the end and you must expect them • Give 5 minutes (or more, depends) • Nothing to be frightened about • Give honest answers, don't antagonise the audience • If you don't know, don't be afraid to admit it (it is better than bluffing) • Never be rude to the audience or dismiss their questions.

  18. Summary • Conference poster • Easier than a talk, but (sometimes requires) more work • Have to be clear, structures and bring a point across • Have to attract attention • Powerpoint and hard work • Short presentation • Requires skill, have to be brave and well prepared • Select the content carefully, think of what you want to teach them and what to say in order to make them understand • Introduction is important • Deliver with slides/overhead, text and figures • Being nervous is natural, rehearsing helps ( a lot ) • Q&A at the end, always honest, never rude