Ask any seasoned graduate student presenter about their presentation tools, and there are some common answers you will hear. First and foremost, they will likely share information about various presentation formats. They will likely even have a preferred template or two - ask nicely and they may share! Alternatively, have some listed below for you in addition to other helpful resources. Free tip: a good laser pointer is worth its weight in gold!
ORAL OR POSTER PRESENTATION?
As a researcher wanting to communicate your findings, you typically do so by submitting your work to a conference. After a review period, you receive an acceptance or denial to present your work at the conference meeting. Congratulations, you're well on your way to presenting! But which format is your presentation?
The format of your presentation usually falls into one of two categories: as oral presentation or a poster. But what's the difference between the two? We explain briefly here.
The most obvious distinction between these formats are the tools used. An oral presentation involves briefly walking your audience through your research paper in Power Point format. The length of this presentation might vary: you might present for 15 minutes as part of a panel of presenters at a conference event, or in a 1-hour long conference seminar where you are the featured speaker. Often, these talks include five to ten minutes for audience questions and answers.
On the other hands, a research poster is just what it sounds like: you print out the details of your study on a large-sized paper poster (typically 3 feet by 4 feet) which is displayed as part of a poster event at the conference. At this event, you stand near your poster and converse with conference attendees who stroll by and want to know more about your study. Poster sessions are typically one to two hours long, which leaves you plenty of time to share your work with others.
Beyond these obvious differences are some subtle ones. If your intent is to converse about your research rather than to present it, you might want to shoot for a poster versus an oral presentation. The benefit of a poster is that you are able to take the time to speak to each individual visitor, which can yield valuable suggestions or even a new potential collaboration! While the poster is in some circles considered less prestigious than an oral presentation, it is an excellent way to begin to get your work out there and could eventually lead to an oral presentation. This kind of progression in your research is good.
GUIDES & TEMPLATES
Why recreate the wheel? There are plenty of free guides and templates available for you online. Check with your university first, just in case there is a preexisting format they prefer.
- A great guide on making your powerpoint a success
- Another great guide on making your powerpoint a success
- An even better guide on making your powerpoint a success
- Perhaps the best guide on making your powerpoint a success
- A guide to conference poster design and presentation
- Another guide to conference poster design and presentation
- Using Power Point to make a conference poster
- Free poster templates #1 #2 #3