Poster Presentation Requirements and Tips

In order to keep judging fair, students creating a poster presentation must abide by strict guidelines in order to be considered for an award in the respective presenting category. This ensures that all students are being judged fairly along the same criteria. Here is the guideline judges will be using to judge your presentations.  

Basic Information                                                              

  • All posters must be a maximum  of 6' wide by 4' tall

  • Generally, poster sizes are 4' wide by 3' tall

  • They must be displayed starting at 5 p.m. on April 23, 2019. You must be in attendance during this time for public questions and answers. 

  • Posters will be printed on your choice of plain paper, heavyweight paper, or canvas paper at the Bishop Mueller Library. 

  • All authors and your advisor must be listed. The presenting author's name must be capitalized entirely. 

  • The university logo must appear on the poster. 


There are many software options capable of producing posters being printed at a large size. However, Microsoft Powerpoint is going to be the best option. All computers in the library have this program available. Other program recommendations would be Adobe InDesign or Photoshop. 

Poster Design                                                                                 

All posters must include the following: 

  • Author's names (including advisor)

    • Presenting authors name must be capitalized entirely. 

  • Department name

  • University Logo

  • Presentation Title


Here is a list of suggested sections to include:

  • Introduction

  • Methods

  • Results

  • Conclusion

  • References

  • Acknowledgments

  • Contact information or QR code


These posters will be read from distances of 4-15 feet. To ensure poster effectiveness and readability we suggest the following: 

  • Title — 100pt bold sans serif font

  • Section Headings — 48pt bold sans serif font

  • Body Text — 28pt serif font

  • Captions — 24pt serif font


Applying color correctly is vital to creating an attractive and compelling poster. Posters using clashing colors can look visually distracting and chaotic, therefore the audience will have a hard time understanding your poster. Dark text on a light background is ideal. Use color to highlight portions of the poster that deserve to be highlighted. 


Images & Charts                                                                            

Using images and graphics will help make a poster more compelling and visually attractive. Most images will be 8"x10" when printed. You must make sure to use full resolution images, otherwise, they will be blurry and appear unprofessional. In order to have a large enough image, you must ensure the image is 300dpi or greater. If you are finding an image online, you must make sure you have the permissions to use it.


Suitable image file types:






Non-sutiable image file types:






If you need to create a chart, it is recommended that you create it in Excel and import it into Powerpoint, or respective program. Tables can also easily be created in Powerpoint.

Writing Style                                                                                   

Posters should confirm the writing style, whether it's APA, AMA, MLA, Chicago, etc., that is prevalent in your field of study. Below are suggestions for major sections:



Keep the title short. Fewer than 12 words are normal. This is accomplished by leaving out unnecessary words. Make sure your title is formal and supported by your data. You should include the university logo in the title section. 



The introduction is a shortened literature review. It puts your work in the context of your area of research. Make sure to include your research question and how to expand your knowledge in that area. 



The method section should be kept short as well. Try using a graphic or a bulleted list to explain your methods. Remember, you should not be reading directly from your presentation, but showing the knowledge you possess. 



This is where you present your data. A table is an effective way to do this, but a bulleted list or paragraph may be more appropriate depending on your topic. 



In this section, directly address your research question, data, and the contribution your study makes to the field. 



Use this section to thank the people who contributed to your study. Since your department will be funding your poster printing cost, make sure to mention them. 



Keep your reference list short. Typically these sections are 3-5 references long. The font is 16pt. Use the citation style most dominant in your field. 



Use this section to thank the people who contributed to your study. Since your department will be funding your poster printing cost, make sure to mention them as well. 


Contact Information 

Include your full name and Briar Cliff email address. You can use this website to create a QR code to convey this information at


Assistance with your writing style may be found at the Writing Center. 

Printing Your Poster                                                                      

The poster you create will be printed at the Bishop Mueller Library. The Library has a Canon imagePROGRAP iPF9400. Please make an appointment to have your poster printed. The Library requires notice at least three days in advance. 

The printing cost does not cover a proof. A proof is a full-sized print for you to proofread. The Library suggest printing the poster on legal size paper prior to final printing for this purpose. 


You must bring your .ppt or .pptx file to the library on a USB flash drive or send via email to the Head of Public and Research Services. The Library will then turn it into a PDF and print it through a Photoshop plug-in. This will ensure color accuracy in your final printed product. (Note: accurate color printing does not always match exact colors on a computer screen)


Presenting Your Work                                                                    

Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before the beginning of the event. You will have a table with an easel. During the event, you will be asked to quickly present your research. Practice your "elevator pitch". An elevator pitch is a short statement that quickly and simply explains your project. You will also be asked to give a more detailed response. That should be less than 5 minutes long. ​