‘Postgraduate research conference 2014’ (University of Leeds, 2014)

What makes a poster really stand out? The way a great research poster is put together should be based on good design principles to make it visually appealing and easy to read. This means a memorable title, plenty of striking (and relevant) images, and minimal text.

So far as content goes, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Who are they, and what are their interests? Be confident of your purpose and focus on one key message you want your audience to take home. Using a poster to communicate your research really challenges you to express something complex in a few pithy lines. This can seem daunting, but it is a great skill to develop for life and work. 

These are some of the key qualities of research posters that help make an impact:

  1. Visual impact – a must, to entice people to look at it! Investigate other posters from your discipline and reflect on what you like, or don’t like, about them. 
  1. A catchy title, interesting and intriguing enough to grab your audience’s attention. 
  1. A clear message that differentiates your research poster from others. 
  1. Good use of images and diagrams – ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ in a restricted space. 
  1. An obvious reading order. 
  1. Audience interaction – is there something you want your audience to do, or think about, as a result of reading your poster? 

If you would like more help with poster presentations we have new content on the library website  or you can make an appointment to see us one to one.


University of Leeds. 2014. Postgraduate research conference 2014. [Photograph]. At: Leeds: University of Leeds.