Annual Continuing Education Conference

Poster Sessions


These instructions are designed to provide authors with guidance on a poster presentation. Poster presentations are an important part of our annual conference. By means of brief texts and illustrations mounted on larger poster boards, authors will have an opportunity to communicate the results of their work to conference participants on a one-to-one basis.

Poster Session Format (90 minutes)

The poster session format provides authors with an excellent opportunity to communicate the results of their work to conference attendees and to personally interact with their audience for longer than is normally available for oral presentations. Poster sessions visually guide each viewer through the basics of a study, freeing the presenter to focus on clarification and discussion of essential elements of the work. Poster presentations are an excellent mechanism to facilitate the rapid communication of scientific ideas. Posters presentations provide a communication tool that combines a verbal presentation with a visual aid (the poster itself). Because the poster format is more informal than a session and much more interactive, poster sessions foster new relationships and collaborations among colleagues.

Space Arrangements
Poster boards will be displayed on 6’ X 30” rectangle tabletops, with tablecloths, in the poster area. Tables will be arranged in rows, and an adequate number of tables will be available to display individual poster presentations. Poster presentations are expected to be freestanding. Posters constructed with thick material and a tabletop easel will facilitate the display of the poster on the provided table.

Supplies Available
Tables will be set up well in advance of the scheduled session. Authors will be responsible for providing their own poster board holders (e.g., tabletop easels) as poster presentations are expected to be freestanding and self-contained. No electricity, audiovisual equipment or computers will be available for this session. If the only option to display the poster is by attaching to the room dividers, please bring thumbtacks, push pins, and/or tape to assemble your poster exhibit.

Author’s Responsibility
Authors are asked to set up their poster exhibits so they can be ready for observation by the scheduled session time. Authors must be in their assigned poster areas and be available for discussion with attendees during the poster session times listed in the final program. If there are two or more authors present for a paper they may split the time they are present or may all be present for the full period.

Suggestions for Presentation
Authors will be able to present their paper to the audience through visual and oral contact during the poster session; however, handouts are encouraged to provide audience members with a reference to further enhance understanding of study purpose and outcomes.

Visual contact is by the poster itself, which should contain the most important text and illustrations that the author would have in an orally presented paper. The poster exhibit should consist of illustrations (tables, graphs, photographs, etc.) explained by titles and a minimum of text. The use of color illustrations can enhance interest in the poster. As part of the poster exhibit, a sign indicating the paper title, name(s) of author(s), affiliation of author(s), and city and state or country is required. The size and number of items in the exhibit are left to the discretion of the author(s), but the “story” should proceed from left to right, top to bottom with a brief summary/conclusion text at the end. As a general rule, the posters should be made with the same care as would be used for the text of an oral presentation and following the rules for preparation of good slides for a visual presentation – bold, colorful, and uncluttered with unnecessary detail.

Posters should be readable by viewers five feet away. The message should be clear and understandable without oral explanation.

The following guidelines have been prepared to help improve the effectiveness of poster communication:

1. Initial Sketch - Plan your poster early. Focus your attention on a few key points. Try various styles of data presentation to achieve clarity and simplicity. Does the use of color help? What needs to be expressed in words? Suggest headlines and text topics.

2. Rough Layout - Enlarge your best initial sketch, keeping the dimensions in proportion to the final poster. Ideally, the rough layout should be full size. A blackboard is a convenient place to work. Print the title and headlines. Indicate text by horizontal lines. Draw rough graphs and tables. This will provide an idea of proportions and balance. If you are working with an artist, show him or her the poster layout. Ask associates for comments. This is still an experimental stage.

3. Final Layout - The artwork is complete. The text and tables are typed, but not necessarily enlarged to full size. Now ask, is the message clear? Do the important points stand out? Is there a balance between words and illustrations? Is there spatial balance? Is the pathway through the poster clear?

4. Balance - The figures and tables should cover slightly more than 50% of the poster area. If you have only a few illustrations, make them large. Do not omit the text, but keep it brief. The poster should be understandable without oral explanation.

5. Topography - Avoid abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon. Use a consistent font throughout. An 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper enlarged 50% makes text readable from five feet.

6. Eye Movement - The movement (pathway) of the eye over the poster should be natural, down the columns or along the rows. Size attracts attention. Arrows, pointing hands, numbers, and letters can help clarify the sequence.

7. Simplicity - Resist the temptation to overload the poster. More material may mean less communication.

For the oral contact with observers, authors should be available to summarize the paper, to answer questions, or to expand on the poster with requested details. During the poster session, authors should try to avoid having their time monopolized by a few observers if other observers are waiting to make contact with the author. If necessary, the author can make arrangements for further discussions at another time.

Poster Session Location & Schedule

Posters will remain in place all day and must be removed 30 minutes after the last poster session.

MSHA cannot be held responsible for posters left on the boards 30 minutes after the last poster session. Poster presenters are only required to be present at their poster board during the assigned time of their poster presentation. This is the time for which participants can earn ASHA CEUs.

Poster Set-up Times

Times are tentative initially, but the schedule will be confirmed and provided in a timely manner. The intention is to have various times available throughout the day, also including a brief time before sessions begin, lunch, and a brief time after sessions end. Set-up time is 4/7 7:30-8:30 a.m. Take-down time is 4/7 at 5:00 p.m.