Interactive Poster Presentations (2020)

This Interactive Poster Presentations page is intended for people who are giving poster presentations. If you're here because you're interested in attending the PanSIG poster presentations, please see our schedule.

(This information originally appeared on the 2014 PanSIG site. It has been modified for content, clarity, and to give credit and citation to original authors, where known.)

Because of the nature of the PanSIG, which is a gathering of about 25+ different special interest groups (SIGs) of JALT, we hope that not only will your poster presentation find a welcoming audience among the SIG it is related to, but also your presentation will also give ideas to members of other SIGs, encouraging an exchange of ideas and creating a network that will help you, the presenter, the SIGs that take part and ultimately, the larger organization, JALT. Note that we're not encouraging you do "dumb it down" for a general audience, as PanSIG is a conference of people highly into specific areas; we are merely asking you to explain your terms, and to show some professional courtesy to experts from other specialities. Be prepared, though, to also scaffold the novices to your area; we're a welcoming and friendly conference, where sometimes mentors meet mentees, and earnest beginners actually have a chance to level up during the weekend.

poster sessions


According to Creating Effective Poster Presentations, an interactive presentation should have two major objectives:

  1. Engaging your colleagues in conversation
  2. Getting your main message across as quickly as possible to as many people as possible

It should be

  • Focused: Choose a single message; posters do not have a lot of space
  • Ordered: Keep your ideas sequenced, well-ordered and obvious
  • Graphic: Let graphs, flowcharts, illustrations, and images tell the story (though you yourself should have your own "elevator story" (e.g., a 3-minute summary of the poster).


Posters should be made in the portrait orientation on A1 sized paper (841mm tall x 594mm wide). This is a standard paper size here in Japan.

One easy way to create posters is to use presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote, since these programs allow you to easily change the positions of photos, textboxes and so on. Before starting, set the document size to 841 x 594mm (or 7016 pixels x 9933 pixels), and decide whether you want it to be horizontal or vertical. You can save it as a PDF.

Consider taking your file to a copy shop to have them print it at A1 size. Alternatively, many universities have a poster printer where you can print your poster for free. Also, seriously consider investing in a plastic poster tube that you can easily carry to prevent your poster from getting damaged.

Specific Information For PanSIG 2019:

  • Posters: Posters will be put on one side of a wooden panel. The panels are 210 cm tall and 85 cm wide.
  • There will be 1 poster assigned to each whiteboard.
  • How to Affix Posters: Posters can be attached with pins. The conference asks that presenters bring their own.
  • Posters Set-up: The posters will be held over multiple sessions, so please do not set up too early. However, posters should be set-up before your session time begins. Please consult the conference schedule for when your poster will be displayed.
  • Posters Take-down: We require that you take down your poster at the end of the poster session. All posters that remain up at the end of the poster session will be thrown away and the presenter’s name will be transmitted to the following year's PanSIG Committee.

Organizing Content

Two possible ways of organizing content are Linear and Modular:

Linear has the content laid out in a logical sequence from abstract to conclusions

  • great for projects that conform to scientific paper format (problem/method/results/conclusion)
  • also good for projects that present well as a timeline

Modular has the main points are laid out in separate boxes or modules (digestible chunks)

  • presenter chooses a limited number of main points  and devotes a section to each
  • modules can be text, figure or image, yet each summarizes a specific point

Designing the Poster

The JALT 2018 Conference team tweeted some advice on designing good posters. Go see their write-up for details, but the short version is: 2-3 colors; at least 16-18 point font; visual graphs are better than numbers; organize so that people can follow the flow (use arrows if necessary); give people time to look at your poster before you start talking to them; and practice your summary. 

For some inspiration, please see the JALT 2018 poster design competition winners. Now, those winning posters are so great that they might actually intimidate rather than inspire, but don't despair, poster design is something that we all get better at the more we do it. 

The University of Leicester links to an interactive online tutorial to help with the various design issues associated with creating an academic poster. Please see Designing an academic poster for this tutorial.

Information that works well on posters includes:

  • Graphical representation of data – tables, charts, images that make specific points
  • Easily summarized conclusions
  • Examples of forms, templates, etc.
  • Pilot projects
  • Projects that follow the basic scientific paper format of intro-methods-results-conclusion

Information that does not work well on posters includes:

  • Complex theoretical results
  • Highly textual information
  • Exceedingly lengthy or large numerical tables
  • Raw data (better to summarize)
  • Lengthy bibliography (if citing over 20 articles, make a handout)

Identify Yourself

It should go without saying, but be sure to include your name and institution on your poster. You may consider including a QR code (choose the best from this list) with your name, email address and paper title. Some posters contain photographs of the presenter(s) to help the viewers identify the speaker(s). 

Giving The Presentation

A Guide to Presenting a Poster has great advice on how to practice. You should practice short presentations of varying lengths (they suggest creating versions of 2 minutes, 5 minutes and 10 minutes in length), and be prepared to summarize your poster in just a few sentences. 

Also, look at the poster from your audience's point of view: What needs the most explanation? What questions might they have?

For more advice, please see the Guide to Presenting a Poster page.

posters perused

Creative Commons License

Except as otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).