Now that you've got the poster, it's time for the poster session, where you will be presenting your poster to your classmates.
You can think of your poster presentation as a type of performance, but also a conversation with your audience. You should know what you want to tell them, but also be prepared for the fact that they will have questions, and specific interests. Before you present, you will need to prepare, much like any singer or actor. This is going to set you up for success!
Rehearse & Get Feedback
Rehearse what you will be saying to your friends and/or family and ask for feedback. Were you speaking at a normal pace? Were you fidgety? Did your voice carry well enough so that everyone could hear clearly? We often don't realize some of the things we do out of habit when we get nervous or are feeling a bit uncertain and so getting that feedback can help you determine where you need to put your energy.
The more you practice the more comfortable you will be presenting on the day of your presentations. Also have you friends and/or family ask questions to be sure you have a solid understanding of the material you are presenting. You may even want to give them some example questions alongside questions they will have on their own.
Before the poster presentations begin you will want to be sure you are comfortable with the following information:
- Know exactly what your figures, diagrams, tables and poster are telling the audience. You should have no trouble explaining anything found on your poster
- Have a real brief summary memorized in your head. A couple sentences that can give a good overview.
- Have a clear understanding of the key points of your research without needing notes.
- Be ready! Be ready to answer any question with confidence! Be comfortable being able to deal with difficult question that you may not be able to answer fully. (This is why it is always great to have someone not involved in your research ask you questions).
This is YOUR research, and no one knows it better than you! You have worked hard all term to get to this point, and you should be proud of the work that you did! Presenting your work can be scary, but also exciting and fun! It means you made to the end, and you’ve accomplished something. That is something to celebrate!