Preparing congress abstracts and posters


Securing the opportunity to present your research at academic congresses relies upon an effective abstract. Your abstract needs to conform to the congress guidelines. It should have an appropriate title and contain a concise balance of easily readable information to impress those who decide who presents at the congress. The abstract will also influence which delegates decide to come along to your verbal presentation or to see your poster; it may be published as a permanent record of your success.

A poster expands your abstract, demands concise and easily assimilated information, and requires careful consideration of titles, subtitles and bulleted information. So, authors need their good scientific writing skills. However, good posters also have visual impact. Scientists are not commonly skilled in design, yet an effective poster needs the authors to cast a critical eye over its visual impact: layout, fonts, colours, contrasts and consistency.

I provide stand-alone courses in developing effective conference abstracts and posters, and also frequently incorporate such sessions into effective scientific writing courses.

Workshops cover:
  • conference abstract structure, content, style, tenses and ways to be as concise as possible
  • abstract title guidelines – types, length and keywords
  • poster planning – what you need to do and logistics
  • poster content – background, methods, results and conclusions, and what else to include
  • poster layout – how to attract people to your poster, the banner, use of columns, how the strory is laid out
  • poster typography– banner, section headings and subheadings, body text and figures
  • use of colour in posters – strategic use and colour associations.
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Posters