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RESOURCES: Your Poster Checklist


You are encouraged to submit for upcoming poster sessions well in advance of your convention. Locate your convention in the sidebar for the most up-to-date deadlines. For some conventions (e.g., APA), the call for submissions closes as early as eight months in advance. It is your responsibility to keep track of all deadlines to ensure that you are able to participate.
Apply for Psi Chi’s Awards and Grants for a chance to win monetary awards for your research or to gain financial assistance with travel costs to your upcoming convention.

How to Create Your Poster


Get started as early as possible.
Posters are most commonly created as a single sheet on Microsoft PowerPoint®, InDesign®, or Illustrator®. Other programs may also be used depending on the availability and your knowledge of the software.
Visit HERE for free downloadable Psi Chi poster templates, Psi Chi’s Poster Sign, and to view additional sample posters. Psi Chi Poster Signs will be available at all regional conventions located at the Psi Chi Exhibitor Booth.

Design Specifics


Posters are usually 3.5–4 feet high by 5.5–6 feet wide. Always check your convention’s website (see sidebar) for specific dimensions before beginning to design your poster; resizing the poster at a later time will likely alter its visual quality. Most PowerPoint users can change the slide size by selecting "Design,” "Page Setup,” "Custom,” and then entering the preferred dimensions. Mac PowerPoint users may visit HERE for alternative instructions.
Make sure you lettering is large enough to be read from a distance. All fonts should be at least 22 pt size with headers approaching 1 inch in height.
Do not overwhelm viewers with too much information. Include the paper’s title, your name, and your school affiliation. From top left to bottom right, your poster should consist of a short version of your paper’s abstract/introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and any acknowledgements. Due to time restrictions, try to limit the information on your entire poster, so viewers will be able to completely read it within a few minutes.
Pictures, tables, and figures are an effective means to draw attention to your poster. Make sure the resolution of all images is at least 150 dpi. Do not enlarge images after placing them in PowerPoint. This will decrease visual quality.
Try to use color images. However, hard-to-read colorful fonts or distracting clip art should be avoided.
Minimize detail and use jargon-free statements.
A flow chart or another method of providing the viewer with a guide for inspecting your display is encouraged.

Printing Your Poster


Print your poster days in advance to allow for any unexpected difficulties.
Check with local print services that handle large poster prints to compare prices. Your college or university may provide poster printing services as well.
Printers will generally require your file to be submitted as a pdf. In most cases, PowerPoint files can be converted to pdf format via the "save as” option. Mac PowerPoint users may visit HERE to read alternative instructions.
Avoid laminating your poster because this makes posters more difficult to read from a distance.
What to Bring


Twenty-five or more letter-size printed handouts of your poster—These should always include your identification, the convention source reference, and whether your handout may be quoted.
A sign-up sheet—This is advisable in case you run out of printed copies of your handout.
Thumbtacks and/or tape—These items will not be provided at the convention.
A camera—Who wouldn’t want a picture to remember their big day?!

At the Convention


Be ready to pin up and take down your poster at the specified times. The average setup is 10 minutes before the session starts and 10 minutes before it ends to allow students to prepare for the next session.
Stay near your poster throughout the session so you can discuss it with all who are interested.
Engage with others. In a sentence or two, be able to describe the general intent of your research to help draw viewers in.

Related Psi Chi Articles


Creating an Effective Conference Presentation
Nancy J. Karlin (University of Northern Colorado)

Visit Psi Chi's Publication Search for additional "Promotion of Research" articles.

Additional Resources

Advice on Designing Scientific Posters
Colin Purrington

Creating Effective Poster Presentations
George Hess, Kathryn Tosney, and Leon Ligel

Advice for Making Posters With PowerPoint
University of Alabama Arts and Sciences website

Convention Support Pages

Attending and Presenting at Conventions
Tips for Attending Conventions
Poster Pointers, Templates,
and Samples

Paper Presentations

Convention Presentation Deadlines/Specifications

APA: Call for Convention Proposals
APS: Rules and Guidelines
EPA: Some Useful Tips for Students Attending EPA
MPA: Instructions for Papers and Posters
NEPA: NEPA Call for Papers
RMPA: Information Page
SEPA: Poster Prep
SWPA: Presenters’ Information
WPA: Student Convention Guide/Poster Design


Psi Chi Programming

Click HERE to view Psi Chi's programming at each of our regional and national conventions.


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