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Social Work Education, Research and Practice in turbulent times

Guidance for Conference delegates on Poster Presentations

A poster presentation affords certain strong advantages in communicating the main messages of your contribution for example, the outcomes of your research, policy or practice initiative for example:

• Posters can be viewed for a substantial period during the day it is displayed

• Any data, graphics and messages on posters can be made available

• The poster allows you to more personally interact with the people who are interested in your contribution

• A poster attracts an audience that is really interested in your work

The poster presentations will be organised in sessions, at least a half-day, usually a full day and where possible can be organised within a theme.

Your poster will be displayed in the common foyer area where conference delegates will be taking refreshments and food or taking a break in between sessions.  

In advance of the conference, you will be told:

  • What day you should display your poster – this will be in the conference programme
  • Where to display your poster – you will be allocated a specific numbered ‘poster board’ and you should leave sufficient time at the beginning and end of the day to mount your poster and take it down.
  • Poster viewing time will be allocated in the programme to encourage delegates to take time to view the posters.  Authors should make sure that they are in attendance by their poster during allocated poster viewing.


Preparing a poster

The standard format of a poster usually follows that of an oral scientific presentation and can include.






Please re-read the abstract that was accepted and make sure that you follow the same information provided there.  (Do not include your abstract on your poster as this will be in the conference programme).

A poster, like an oral presentation, cannot (and should not) contain all information you have on the topic. Posters typically should stimulate interest rather than provide a detailed presentation. If all text is kept to a minimum (800-1000 words maximum), a person should fully read your poster in less than 10 minutes. Since there will be many other posters, you must make sure your poster is interesting and visually appealing if you hope to attract viewers.

Size of your poster

This should be in Portrait mode

A1 Size 23.4 inches (59.4 cm) wide x 33.1 inches (84.1 cm) high.

General guidelines:

–The relevance of the poster to the topic should be very apparent to viewers.

– Think of the raw layout of your poster beforehand. For example, place the title at the top. Start with the Introduction at the upper left, finish with the recommendations at the lower right, with methods and results filling the central space.

– Use short sentences, simple words, and bullets to illustrate your points.

– Text should be broken up by including graphics or photos.

– Self-explanatory graphics should dominate the poster. The success of a poster directly relates to the clarity of your illustrations and tables!

– Avoid using jargon, acronyms, or unusual abbreviations.

– Use a non-serif font (Arial) for the poster.

– The poster (text and graphics) should be easily readable from about 2 metres distance. As a rule of thumb Arial >24 points).  The titles should be in large fonts (e.g. Arial >80 points)

If possible institute logos or affiliations should be minimised in size and put in the lower corner of the poster, or, alternatively, next to the title.

• Introduction: Get your viewer interested about the issue or question while using the absolute minimum of background information and definitions. Put the objectives of your contribution at the end of your introduction.

• Methods: Be short, but precise. For example, what study design you used and your study population.  

• Results: Briefly provide descriptive results.   Any tables and graphs should stand on their own.

– A minimal amount of text materials should supplement the graphic materials.

– Use areas of empty space between poster elements to differentiate and accentuate the elements of your poster.

– Use colours for emphasis, but do not overuse (2-3 colours are usually enough).

– Graphics and tables should have a complete title and legend.

• Conclusion and recommendations: Comment on main results and discuss why they are conclusive and interesting. Discuss limitations. What are your recommendations?

• Acknowledgments/further information: Thank individuals for specific contributions to project; mention who has provided funding. Provide your e-mail address for further information.

Making the poster

• Preparing a poster takes time. Plan for a minimum of one week.

• Usually, a presentation software such as PowerPoint is used. Format your PowerPoint slide on the size you’ll like to have it printed (ex 90x130 cm) by using the menu data -> format page. You can insert your text and graphics directly on that slide or copy-paste it from a Word document or a PowerPoint slide.

• Print the poster in an A4 format to check for layout, colours, font size and spelling errors before printing it in large size.

• After the poster is printed in large format, changes are no longer possible.

• It is often useful to make a handout of your poster for distribution during the poster session

Finally, include your contact details on the poster and handout so that people can contact you after the conference is over.

Transport your poster in a tube to make sure it keeps well during travel.


The Scientific Committee will judge posters and award a prize for the best two posters – so Good Luck