Poster design skills for scientists and researchers

Learn how to design and deliver a scientific or academic poster that shares your research AND starts a conversation

Our poster design workshop for researchers, academics, scientists and research groups is designed to help you attract interest from fellow conference-goers and start a conversation about your work. Whether you have never designed a poster before or have a couple of poster sessions under your “belt”, our comprehensive workshop can be tailored to help you build new skills, refresh your knowledge of posters, and if you have a poster session coming up soon, get the basics of your poster in place, too.

Outline

Our poster design workshop can be tailored to your needs, incorporating information about your format requirements, the poster design session location, and/or the online conference tools that you are using. To give you an example of what to expect, here is a sample outline.

  • What are scientific and research posters?
    • What is their purpose?
    • What can make a poster session a negative experience for presenters and audiences?
    • Becoming aware of what gets in the way of a great poster session.
  • Cutting through the noise
    • How to add focus and clarity to your poster
    • Understanding your audience
    • Understanding your purpose
    • Defining key messages to use in your poster design OR in your oral delivery
  • Planning your poster
    • What to include in your poster and where
    • How to craft a compelling title
    • How to plan the key elements of your poster
    • How much content to include on your poster
    • How to create a quick visual sketch of your poster before you start using technology
    • Formats and poster requirements (general and tailored to your event)
  • Visual design best practice for posters
    • In-person vs online poster sessions
    • Layout options and how we read posters
    • Different ways to design posters
    • The importance of negative space
    • Understanding visual grammar and visual weight, and using them effectively
    • How to use colour effectively (and ensure accessibility)
    • How to choose and use fonts
    • Choosing the right graphic formats and where to find images and icons
  • Software and templates
    • What software programmes to consider
    • Where to find templates
    • Better Poster approach
    • Designing your own poster – what to bear in mind
  • Making posters engaging
    • How to plan for additional material
    • Using QR codes: the good, the bad, and how to create and integrate them
    • Analogue engagement: tapping into the senses
    • What’s possible with digital posters?
  • An introduction to online and virtual conferences
    • Pros and cons for speakers and audience
    • What to expect
    • Examples of different formats
    • VR conferences
  • Promoting your poster
    • How and why, in “real life” and for online conferences
  • The poster session presentation
    • Delivery tips
  • What to do AFTER the poster session?
    • Follow-ups
    • Communication
    • Reflection
Outcomes

Participants will leave the training with: 

  • The ability to plan and design a clear, engaging scientific or research poster.
  • An understanding of the importance of planning when starting a new poster.
  • Insights into what to think about when it comes to visual design.
  • Confidence in presenting their work visually and orally.
  • Examples of what works and what doesn’t from real-world examples of posters in their field and elsewhere.
  • Knowledge of where to find templates for their poster.
  • Knowledge of where to find inspiration to design their own posters.
  • A selection of genuinely useful websites to find templates, images, fonts and other design assets.
  • Design software suggestions.
  • A better understanding of how to be seen and engage people using our delivery tips.
  • Feedback and insights from peers in their group or in their field.
Delivery formats

We offer this training as:

  • Two half-day interactive small-group workshop sessions online via Zoom or similar platforms.
  • Two half-day sessions that combine seminar-style content with individual exercises and interactivity in chats and polls for large groups (50-100). Ideal for conferences and large events with poster sessions.
  • Shorter formats with modified (reduced) content depending on your needs, for example, webinars, short talks, and half-day sessions.
  • Part of longer science and research communication programmes for students and early career scientists.
Suitable for

This training is suitable for:

  • Researchers and scientists preparing for a poster session
  • Students building new research skills
  • Conference and meeting organisers
  • Groups and teams interested in visual design and how to apply it

Request more information

Training interest

Kind words

Loved this. So much information and still time for some good discussions with fellow students. I look forward to being able to use some of the ideas when I create my first poster.

Poster workshop participant

Student SHA Utrecht University

I have just completed SciComm Success' Poster Design Workshop. It was full of interesting tips and tools, some of which I have already built into my poster planning. Although we had a big group and I expected a lecture/webinar format, Suzanne constantly invited us to provide feedback and our own experiences, and I enjoyed hearing what fellow biologists like and don't. I liked that the group was international and enjoyed the flexible and informal discussions - some via chat, some using whiteboards, some simple audio discussion. It felt as if we could all contribute, wherever we were. I would recommend this workshop for anyone new to creating posters for conferences. It would probably be a good refresher for poster presenters, too. Thank you, SEB, for the opportunity.

Poster workshop participant

Society for Experimental Biology Conference (2021)

This was a good refresher on best practice planning and design for posters. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on tools for choosing colour palettes, which I have since used in other communication materials, and the discussion about online and virtual conferences, which was an eye-opener for me during COVID. Thank you, Suzanne!

Poster workshop participant

Genentech, USA

Have something different in mind?

Book a call with one of our training team and let’s explore what you are thinking about, what you need, and what we can do to help.

Summary

This interactive training workshop will help participants promote their research and findings at academic conferences by equipping them with a comprehensive set of skills that they can apply to designing and delivering scientific and research posters. The workshop is designed to be interactive and teaches transferable communication and visual design tools that participants can apply to posters and other visual communication in the future. We provide lots of real-world examples and poster critique sessions that encourage discussion and allow participants to see how design really does make a difference!

This workshop is also available as a two-part programme for conference organisers who want to allow early-career scientists and researchers to learn how to create a brilliant first poster for their event, for teams and small groups of interested scientists preparing for an upcoming session, and as short talks and webinars for conferences and online learning events.