How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (2023)

It's time to show the world your research, how exciting! After all your hard work, all those hours in the lab, you can finally present your findings and talk to other researchers about your work! Except... you left it a little late to create your poster. So dig up the old and trusted PowerPoint template handed down from generation to generation and fill in the gaps with your own discoveries. But be honest with yourself, how old is this model? Instead of presenting the exciting poster you dreamed of, you have an uninspiring wall of text that leaves your audience a little lost in what you've actually discovered. Your academic posters should keep pace with science, not fall behind! It's time to upgrade your template and create beautiful and effective academic posters in PowerPoint.

Why Use PowerPoint for Academic Posters?

PowerPoint is the ideal tool for creating academic research posters. If you didn't already know, we love PowerPoint and for good reason! It's easy to use, quick to edit and accessible to many, making it easy to create posters. We will guide you through various PowerPoint poster creation tips, from shaping your content into a clear and concise message, making the most of our free pre-designed poster templates to helping you create beautiful and powerful research posters!

Download our free templates here:

Academic Research Poster Template - Portrait

Academic Research Poster Template - Landscape

Tips on your content: make your postereffective

Let's put ourselves in your audience's shoes for a moment and consider the problem with the typical "wall of text" banner. The reality is that poster session attendees have very little time to see A LOT of posters. Time is of the essence and your audience is a moving target, so you need to grab their attention, and fast! You cannot assume that your audience will be happy to stand and read your poster for ten minutes.

Your research poster should be a talking point, not an impenetrable wall of text. A poster is simply a visual summary that represents a concise and accessible summary of your research. Its purpose is to draw attention to your research, not to show all the details. Think of it more like a billboard, designed to quickly convey important information as your audience moves forward.

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (1)
So how do you go from your audience thinking "I can barely read this sign" to "Good research, tell me more"? First things first, getting the content right...


  • cut the gibberish– Consider your target audience, sure you might have participants who are experts in your field, but you also want your poster to be accessible to people who are new to your research. Reduce jargon and specialized terms and usagessimple languageas much as possible to make your poster easy to understand.
  • organize your story– Separate your content into sections usingheadersand make sure your poster tells a fluid story, including: Background, Question, Methods, Results, Conclusion.
  • Condense your content– Decide who your audience isit needsknow, so consider what's fairlindoto know. Then get rid of the good know. Be relentless and keep your content concise and clear. Aim for a maximum of 250 words, possibly <150 if you're feeling brave!
    If you are concerned that your poster is lacking in detail, you can link to a full version of your document via a QR code; we will explain how to do this later.
  • Summarize your main finding– Most important of all, what did you discover from your research? Why should people care? Consider what theend of the lineof your research is and translate it into simple conversational English. determine whatkey image the graphyou'll support that discovery and help get your message across clearly, so your audience can quickly understand the value of your research without staring at your poster for eternity.

Creating an effective academic poster aims to make it easy for the audience to quickly understand the content. A clear and logical design is essential to achieve this. Consider the hierarchy of your information. You want your audience to read the most important information first if they don't make it to the bottom of the poster. So put your main finding and a supporting table or chart right at the top of the poster. To ensure the rest of the poster is easy to read, consider the flow of your content. In the West, we read top to bottom, left to right, so make sure your content follows that flow. You can number your sections or use arrows to guide the reader and use bullets instead of long paragraphs of text. He canread more about hierarchy here

(Video) How to Create a Poster in PowerPoint

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (2)

We've created 4 Academic Poster PowerPoint Template designs to help you get started!

Academic Research Poster Template - Portrait

Academic Research Poster Template - Landscape

Your survey will inevitably contain graphs and data, and while you'll want to display all of these on your poster (because they tookcenturiesdo!) you need to decide which ones are most important.

  • be selective– Show only essential data on your poster. While images and graphics help break up the text, you don't want to overwhelm your audience with information, so only include the most important graphics.
  • Simplify– Simplify your graphs and, if necessary, rename them so that scientists outside your field understand the basics.
  • summary figure– Choose a single graphic to support your main finding and help your audience understand your conclusion quickly.
  • formatting– Apply your template's color scheme and fonts to any imported graphics for consistency across the poster. You can find pre-designed graphics on the sticker sheet for each of our templates!

Template tips: make your posterlindo

Your content is ready, now it's time to make your poster beautiful! To give you a head start, we've created 4 different Landscape and Portrait Academic Poster PowerPoint Templates, each with its own unique design style! Choose your favorite and complete the sections with your content. We help you get started with placeholders for titles, graphics, references, and more. in each template, but they are editable so you can customize your poster to work best for you.

Each model also has its own correspondence'sticker sheet'. Faircopy and pasteany of the elements you would like to use on your poster sticker sheet

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (3)

Now, let's go over some of the best tips to make sure you get the most out of these templates.

Alignment and guides
Skewed alignment and poor design can make your poster look unprofessional before your audience has had a chance to read all the good stuff.guidesthey're your secret weapon for helping you design your content in clear, easy-to-follow sections. We've already set up guides on our poster templates, if you can't see them, go to theVistaguide in PowerPoint and checkguides.
How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (4)

(Video) How to Make Poster in PowerPoint |पॉवरपॉइंट से पोस्टर प्रेजेंटेशन कैसे बनायें | Poster In PowerPoint

Guides are important to help align and balance your poster layout. Some important things to remember are keeping the edge clean and keeping the gaps (gutters) between sections to give your contents room to breathe.

If you want to create your own guides,This articleshows how easy it is with our free PowerPoint add-inshiny slip.

blank space
Don't underestimate the power of what is NOT on your poster. White space is essential for creating a beautiful and effective poster. Your poster should consist of approximately 20-30% text, 30-40% pictures, and 40% space. yes you heard me40%! White or "negative" space is all about creating areas of contrast, with clear focal points to draw attention to the important parts and create flow and hierarchy throughout the poster.Learn about the power of white space

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (5)

Try to avoid using background photos, they can clutter up the poster and make it difficult for the audience to read the text or understand the graphics.

We pre-designed our poster templates with hand-picked color schemes to make them simply beautiful! But we do have some tips on how to best apply the defined color scheme to your content.
Each template has a color palette of 6-8 colors. We recommend using a bright color as an accent color to draw attention to key information on the poster. It's important to use this accent color sparingly to ensure it maintains its eye-catching role! Be sure to apply the color scheme to all the text, images and shapes you are using to maintain consistency in your poster design.

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (6)

If you need to use specific colors or want to create your own color palette, here are some top tips:

  • Use 3-5 cores– 2-3 shades of a primary color, a prominent accent color, a background color and a few text colors (one light and one dark).
  • Use the eyedropper tool– Find an image with the colors you like and use the eyedropper tool in PowerPoint to extract the colors. To use colors, draw a shape on a PowerPoint slide, select it, go toShape Format > Shape Fill > Eyedropperand click on the image color.
  • Use a palette generator website- Do we likerefrigerators,Adobe Color Wheel(start with the 'additional' option) ormaterial palette.material palettelets you select 2 colors and then produces a complete palette with instructions on how to use each color.How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (7)
  • Use a Color Contrast Checker for Accessibility– Low color contrast can make your poster less accessible to a wide range of people. Fortunately, while this is a common error, it's also a very simple one to fix. review thefree color contrast checkerin our brilliant PowerPoint plugin,shiny slip.
  • Update your color theme in PowerPoint– The best way to handle color in PowerPoint is to set up your template correctly and use a color theme. So it's easy to use the same colors over and over again. After choosing your colors, read this article to learn howchange theme colors in powerpoint.

Less is more when it comes to fonts, we recommend you only chooseone or two fonts. Using a second font can help to clearly distinguish body text from titles and headings, but this can also be achieved by making titles and headingsaudacious. Our banner templates have pre-built fonts, but if you're looking to do it yourself, here are other fonts we recommend:

(Video) How to Design an Effective Graphical Abstract in PowerPoint

  • body text– In general, serif fonts are better for body text, as the serifs ('wings' at the end of lines) guide the eye from one character to the next as if they were handwritten together.
    Examples include: Times New Roman, Garamond, Palatine Linotype, Book Antiqua, Bodoni MT, Bell MT.
    How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (8)
  • titles and headers– Alternatively, sans serif fonts do not have markings at the end of their lines and look modern, elegant and clean, making them better for titles and headers.
    Examples include: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Segoe UI, Franklin Gothic, Candara, Tahoma, Corbel, Roboto.
    How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (9)
    And above all, avoid unprofessional fonts like Comic Sans.
    How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (10)

Read more about our recommended presentation fonts.

Font size is also important. Your poster must be legible from one meter away and your title and headings must stand out. For A0 posters, try to stick to these font sizes:

  • Titles - 90pt
  • Headers – 60pt
  • Body text: 36 points

Check font sizes by enlarging the poster to 100% and standing three feet away from the screen to test that you can easily read the body text and distinguish headings.

We have created some pre-designed charts, tables and diagrams on the sticker sheet to copy and paste on your poster and insert your own data.

However, we recognize that you may not be using Microsoft Office to create your charts and graphs. In this case, we recommend exporting the graph from whatever software you are using (Origin, for example) as aemf imageand paste it into your poster template. so you canungroupthe image and format the graphics to match the fonts and colors in your poster template. don't forget toregroupthe chart later for easy moving and resizing.

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (11)

To get the most out of your charts and data, focus your audience's attention on key information using PowerPoint shapes or arrows. Edit line color, fill color, and transparency to highlight trends or important values ​​in your charts.

How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (12)

illustrations and icons
Icons are great for storytelling and can really help cut down on word counts. We create a set of pre-colored icons for each sticker sheet; If you're looking for something specific, you can find more icons by going toInsert > Iconsin PowerPoint. You can change the color of the PowerPoint icons to match your template using thefill colortool. In fact, there's almost nothing you can't do with icons in PowerPoint! More information atThis article.
How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (13)

If you're using Office 365, you can access PowerPoint's native presentation icons, and we have a blog post that showshow to insert these powerpoint icons. While PowerPoint has MANY icons to choose from, you may be looking for something more specific to your search. If you are in the environmental sciences, theIAN image libraryis a large library of free graphics. Another great general site for finding free illustrations and icons isfreepik.

(Video) How to make an attractive GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT in PowerPoint, Tutorial

If you are really looking for something personalized or specific,Adobe Illustratoris a powerful tool for creating illustrations. Although it is paid software, there are many free resources to help you create exactly what you need. If Adobe Illustrator is not the right choice for you, you can use PowerPoint to create amazingsophisticated illustrationsas this post explains.

QR codes
Adding a QR code to the poster is a quick way to provide your audience with access to the full article or a digital copy of the poster. This allows attendees to leave with all the information they want. You can be more confident when you condense your content onto the poster, knowing that your audience can still access the entire document via your custom QR code. To create your own QR code, you can go tocanvaoqrcodemonkey. If you want to link to multiple files or locations, it might be worth usinglink treeallowing you to connect your audience to multiple locations through a single link from your QR code. You can then add that QR code to your academic poster in PowerPoint before exporting it ready to be shared.

I hope your poster is fitting in well now! But... you're not done yet. Here are some tips to make sure you and your poster are ready!

  • Comments and review– It is impossible to correct your own work correctly. Gather a friend or colleague and ask them to take a look at your poster as proof. Ask them:
    • Is the layout clear and easy to follow?
    • Did you understand the search for the key quickly?
    • Can you check my spelling and grammar please?

It's important not to miss this feedback phase and to do it as soon as possible so you can implement the changes in time! Testing your poster will also give you more confidence to present your poster session.

  • export your file– You've made some tweaks based on feedback from your friends, you can now export your poster as a PDF. In PowerPoint, go toFile > Save As > Browse, choose where you want to save your PDF, give the poster a name, and in theTo save as typedrop down choicePDF.
    How To Create Beautiful and Effective Academic Posters in PowerPoint | shiny carbon (14)
  • The last check!– It's a good idea to test print the poster before printing it full size. Print your poster on A4 or A3 if possible. Check that everything is how you want it, that the resolution of your graphics and images is within the mark (300dpi is recommended), that there is enough space in the margins, that nothing is cropped, and do a final proofread of all the text. .
  • Be prepared to present– Your poster will not speak for you, it is a conversation starter, so you will need to be prepared to talk about your research. Don't panic! we have manypresentation tipsto help you prepare.

Download all free Academic Poster PowerPoint Templates to get started!

Academic Research Poster Template - Portrait

Academic Research Poster Template - Landscape

We'd love to see the academic posters you make in PowerPoint using these templates, please.send them to usor share them on twitter and tag us@BrightCarbon.

leave a comment


How do you make a presentation poster look good? ›

A Few Tips on Poster Appearance:
  1. Avoid clutter. Limit your poster presentation to a few main ideas. ...
  2. Keep the lettering simple. Use no more than three different font sizes; the largest for the poster title, second-largest for section titles, and smallest for text. ...
  3. Keep the colors simple.

How do I make my PowerPoint presentation attractive for school project? ›

Use pictures, diagrams, graphs or other visuals to illustrate your ideas. You can have a title for the slide that explains the point you are making and a caption under the visual to explain what the audience is looking at, but try to minimize the text you have on your slides.

What are the elements of an academic poster? ›

Traditionally, many academic posters have the following components:
  • 3 to 4 columns.
  • poster title.
  • author information.
  • institution name/logo.
  • research content (text, images, graphs, etc.)
  • References section.
  • Acknowledgments section.
Mar 2, 2023

What is the formatting of an academic poster? ›

Traditional research posters have the dimensions of 48” x 36”, and can be positioned either horizontally or vertically. Another poster format is the tri-fold poster, which are commonly 48” x 36” or 40” x 28”.

What is an academic style poster? ›

Academic posters are a representation of your work, communicated through text, visual imagery, infographics and/or tables and graphs to summarise your project and its conclusions. Information is laid out in sections, using headings and subheadings to draw the attention and eyeline of the viewer.

How do I make my PowerPoint presentation look professional? ›

10 PowerPoint hacks to make your presentations look more...
  1. Write before you design. ...
  2. Start with a title slide that piques interest. ...
  3. Stick to simple designs. ...
  4. Emphasize one point per slide. ...
  5. Use text sparingly. ...
  6. Select images for impact. ...
  7. Practice your verbal presentation. ...
  8. Run it by a colleague.

How do you make a powerful PowerPoint presentation? ›

PowerPoint Presentation Tips
  1. Don't let PowerPoint decide how you use PowerPoint.
  2. Create custom slide sizes.
  3. Edit your slide template design.
  4. Write text with your audience in mind.
  5. Make sure all of your objects are properly aligned.
  6. Use 'Format Object' to better control your objects' designs.
Mar 18, 2022

What are three features of a good poster? ›

At its core, a poster is made up of four key features: a title, graphic(s), text, and white space. Layout, flow, and color affect the order and style of these four key features.

What are the 7 elements of a poster? ›

Poster gives definitions for line, shape, form, space, value, texture, and color, as well as in-depth explanations of terms and characteristics associated with color. Examples of each element are also depicted.

What are the five questions on a poster? ›

5W 's - Question Posters (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How)

Does PowerPoint have poster templates? ›

To design your own poster using PowerPoint:

Choose Design on the ribbon. Go to Page Setup. Under Slides sized for click on the black arrow. Choose Custom.

How do you make something more aesthetically pleasing? ›

We've outlined some of them plus a few tips to be aware of.
  1. Follow The Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is one of the most popular composition techniques in photography. ...
  2. Add Symmetry. ...
  3. Create Depth. ...
  4. Frame Within A Frame. ...
  5. Look for Leading Lines. ...
  6. Watch Your Horizon. ...
  7. Use Shapes and Textures. ...
  8. Use Shadows.

What are the 5 rule of PowerPoint? ›

Follow the 5/5/5 rule

To keep your audience from feeling overwhelmed, you should keep the text on each slide short and to the point. Some experts suggest using the 5/5/5 rule: no more than five words per line of text, five lines of text per slide, or five text-heavy slides in a row.

What makes a PowerPoint look professional? ›

Choose a Strong Color Palette

Using a strong palette of solid colors can make a presentation feel professional and still visually interesting. The slide above is a perfect example of using very plain design and little effort to create something that looks really polished.

What makes a powerful PowerPoint presentation? ›

Use key phrases and include only essential information. Limit punctuation and avoid putting words in all capital letters. Empty space on the slide will enhance readability. Use contrasting colors for text and background.


1. How to design Coal Power Plant Process Diagram in PowerPoint, Tutorial
(Haider Niaz)
2. Easy steps to make Graphical Abstract for Elsevier journal on Powerpoint
(Science Infographics)
3. 2014 Three Minute Thesis winning presentation by Emily Johnston
(University of South Australia)
4. 8. Designing your Poster in Canva | Skills
5. The Do's and Don'ts to Effective Scientific Posters & Presentations
(Crafty Nica)


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