Skip to Main Content

Make Posters & Professional Presentations

Write an Abstract

Submitting journal articles, posters, conference presentations and more will require you to prepare an abstract.

Abstracts are generally 300-400 words and can be unstructured or structured.

Unstructured abstracts are 1-2 paragraphs that contextualize and summarize the paper, poster, or presentation.

Structured abstracts are broken into labeled sections. Typically these include: 1) Background / Introduction, 2) Methods, 3) Results, 4) Conclusions / Discussion.

Make and Present a Poster

Posters generally involve two components:

  • the poster
  • the presentation of that poster.

You need to prepare for both!


Verify the poster size requirements for the specific event and ALWAYS follow their guidelines if provided.

You can make posters in PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva, and other tools. Start by setting the slide size appropriately.

The maximum slide size in PowerPoint is 56" X 56". For larger posters (or just to make the slide easier to work with) make the slide at half (1/2) the final poster size and have it enlarged (200%) when printing the final poster.

To set the size:

  • PowerPoint: select the Design tab> Slide Size>Custom Slide Size.
  • Google Slides: File>Page set up


  • Graphics lose quality when enlarged. Be sure to use a high quality (high pixels per inch or PPI) graphic.
  • Setting the slide at the true final size will make it easier to see appropriate text size. Remember that text on a 1/2 size slide will double in size on the final version.
    • Text Size Recommendations: Title: 85pt; Authors 56pt; Headings 36pt; Body 24pt.
  • Turn on ruler, gridlines and guides (view tab in PowerPoint) to help you line up headers, columns, figures, etc.


Be prepared to present your poster. Generally this occurs during a set period of time where people will walk through a space full of posters, look for ones that interest them, and then speak with the poster presenter.

Prepare a 1-2 minute elevator speech for the poster that allows the audience to decide if they want to engage with a fuller presentation and/or ask questions of the presenter.

A successful poster presentation (aprox 5 min):

  • Provides the reason for and purpose of the research/project (including the research question if relevant)
  • Gives an overview of the methods
  • Points out key results
  • Explains why this is relevant to the field / practice
  • Suggests where this project could go next and/or what further research could be done on the topic

Be prepared to be asked clarifying questions about the background, methods, results, and conclusions of the project.

If you were not involved in any phase of the project, make sure you have discussed it with the team members directly involved before you present the poster!

The Library Can Also Help You With

Contact us by phone, email, or library chat.

Contact Us

Profile Photo
Roseman Library

Phone, Henderson: 702-968-2040
Phone, South Jordan: 801-878-1020