Sleepcon 2016 Poster Presentation

  • Contents:
  • General aim and format
  • Design and layout specifications
  • Lettering
  • Visuals
  • Text
  • Other Suggestions

General aim and format

A poster is a graphic representation of the research undertaken. In a poster presentation of the research must be in a format that shows clearly the background of the study, the method used, results obtained as a means for generating active discussion of the research.

Limit the text to about one-fourth of the poster space, and use “visuals” (graphs, photographs, schematics, maps, etc.) to tell your “story.”

Design and layout specifications

Poster Guidelines Specifications

  • The entire poster on ‘FLEX SHEET’material would be mounted on a 48″ (Width) x 36” (Height) or [04 feet (Width) x 03 feet (Height)] board. The poster does not necessarily have to fill the entire working area.
  • The board would be oriented in the “landscape” position (long dimension is horizontal).
  • A banner displaying your poster title, name, department&Institution should be positioned at top-center of the board (see Figure).
  • Make it obvious to the viewer how to progressively view the poster. The poster generally should read from left to right, and top to bottom. Numbering the individual's panels, or connecting them with arrows is a standard “guidance system” (see Figure).
  • It is suggested to leave some open space in the design for a soothing visual effect.

Figure: Layouts for a poster. Long panel at top-center is title/author banner. Individual panels can be connected by numbers and arrows. Also, note the use of space between panels to achieve visual appeal. (From: C. W. Connor, 1992, The Poster Session: A Guide for Preparation: U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 88-667.)


  • Word-process all text (including captions).
  • Text should be readable from five feet away. Use a minimum font size of 18 points.
  • Lettering for the title should be large (at least 70-point font). Use all capital letters for the title.


  • Present numerical data in the form of graphs, rather than tables (graphs make trends in the data much more evident). If data must be presented in table form.
  • Visuals should be simple and bold.
  • Make sure that any visual can “stand alone” (i. e., graph axes are properly labeled, symbols are explained, etc.).
  • Use color to enhance comprehension.
  • Make sure that the text and the visuals are integrated. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
    Each visual should have a brief title.


  • Keep the text brief. Blocks of text should not exceed three paragraphs. Use text to (a) introduce the study (what hypothesis was tested or what problem was investigated? why was the study worth doing?), (b) explain visuals and direct viewers attention to significant data trends and relationships portrayed in the visuals, and (c) state and explain the interpretations that follow from the data. In many cases, conclusions can be summarized in a bullet-point list.
  • May include future implications/application of research undertaken.
  • Cite reference of any source of information other than your own, just as you would do with a research paper.


KEEP IT SIMPLE. Keep to the point, and don’t try to cover too many things. Present only enough data to support your conclusions.

When you begin to make your poster, first create a list of the visuals that you would use if you were describing your project with only the visuals. Write the text after you have created the list of visuals.

Mat the components of the poster on separate pieces of colored poster board before the final layout.

Before the poster session, rehearse a brief summary of your project. Many viewers will be in a hurry and will want a quick “guided tour” of your poster.

Point out uncertainties in your work; areas where you feel further work is required.