Creating a Conference Poster

Poster Templates

MacEwan branded PowerPoint templates (both are 36" x 48"):

Other programs for creating posters include InDesign and LaTeX.

Poster Design

  • Poster size: Before getting started, confirm poster size requirements with conference organizers and set this up in the software you are using.
    • Standard size is 36" x 48".
    • In PowerPoint go to the Design tab>> Slide Size>> Custom Slide Size.
  • Section headings and content: Research posters typically organize information under the following headings:
    • Introduction
    • Methods 
    • Results
    • Conclusions
    • References
    • Acknowledgements
  • Text: Break content up into short bulleted lists where possible. The following font sizes are generally recommended:
    • Text size: 24-36 point.
    • Sections and sub-headings: larger (e.g. 48 point).
    • Captions and labels: smaller (e.g. 22 point).
  • Visuals:
    • Photographs:
      • Use high resolution images (300 dpi).
      • Include a caption beneath photos to explain them.
      • Cite the source of photos. 
    • Tables and charts:
      • Give tables and charts a title.
      • Include a caption beneath explaining the content.
  • Branding: Consider including a university logo in the top left corner of your poster:     


If required to print your poster, confirm required file format with the printer you're using.

  • Most require that files be saved to PDF. 

Before you Present

  • Proofread for errors
  • View full screen to ensure content is clear and easy to read from a distance.
  • Prepare an “elevator speech”: 
    • Jot down 2-3 sentences that clearly and concisely summarize what your poster is about and why it is important.
    • Practice your speech before the session so that you will be prepared when people come by to learn about your work.
    • Remember to avoid technical jargon, and show enthusiasm!

Share Your Poster

Consider the following ways to make your poster more broadly available: 

  • Make a few copies to give out as handouts to anyone interested in your work. Include your contact information in case they want to follow up with you.
  • Post your work online and add a QR code to your poster so people can easily access it by taking a photograph of it with their phone.
    • Files can be posted online via Google Drive, SlideShare, or RO@M (see below). Make sure to check with any faculty members overseeing your work before posting it to ensure there are no copyright or intellectual property issues. 

Note: Your work may qualify for inclusion in MacEwan's institutional repository, Research Online at MacEwan (RO@M). Send a copy of your poster along with the name and date of the conference where it was presented and the names of any faculty members overseeing your work to for consideration.