As a recent Ph.D. workshop participant you will be giving a 20-minute presentation on your research. Here are some helpful hints on preparing your talk.

  1. There will NOT be a blackboard available at the workshop. There will be an LCD available for presentations. You must bring your own laptop or make arrangements in advance to share with another presenter. An overhead projector will also be available. [There will only be one overhead, AWM does not do the double overhead set-up.] Whether you use the LCD or overhead project, please include a slide or transparency with your name, affiliation, address, phone and email to put up at the beginning of your talk to introduce yourself and put up again at the end of your talk in case individuals in the audience wish to contact you at a later time.
  2. The audience for your talk will consist of mathematicians from many different fields of pure and applied mathematical sciences, and will include graduate students. Your primary goal in preparing your talk should be to make it comprehensible and interesting to this very diverse audience. This is not an easy task, especially in just 25 minutes! It is generally best to emphasize the significance of your research and how it fits into broader questions in mathematics. It may also be appropriate to give some indication of the techniques involved, but it is rarely appropriate to include more than the barest outline of any proofs.
  3. Don't run over your allotted time. The moderators will strictly enforce the time limit! And, plan to leave time a few minutes at the end for questions.
  4. Please review the following websites for some helpful information on giving your presentation:


As a graduate student workshop participant you will be preparing a poster on your research work to display at the workshop. Poster sessions are often crowded and busy, conditions which can make close viewing difficult. Therefore, your poster should be easily read from 3 to 4 feet, a distance that requires a character size of at least 3/8 inch high. In addition, each figure should have a large heading (1/2" or 36 point) that clearly identifies the “point” of the figure. Any detailed information concerning the figure can be provided in a legend and at a smaller (but still legible) font. Remember, a casual viewer of your poster should be able to understand the poster without having to read the legend; the legend is strictly for those people who want to gain more detailed information about the figure. Tables should follow the same general layout as figures.


Poster Pre-planning and Preparation

  • The preparation process takes longer than you think, so get started early. Write introduction and methods now!
  • Review text and poster approach with adviser and other major collaborators!!
  • Remember that preparing a poster is very different from preparing a paper. You will not be enlarging your research paper and wallpapering the display board. Your main objective in preparing text for this presentation is to edit it down to very concise language. Use bullets and numbers to break text visually and aid you in the interactive use of your poster.
  • A suggested title format is 90 pt Helvetica or a sans serif font, use bold as this reads better from a distance. Sub titles should be 72 pt.
  • Divide your title information into: Title; Name(s); Department; University of Minnesota; City; etc.
  • Within the poster presentation space divide information into - Introduction; Methods; Results; Summary; Acknowledgments (optional). Provide references in handout form as they are not necessary for Poster presentations and reduce needed space.
  • Other poster text should be 18 pt; space and a half; bold. Never use smaller than 14 point print.
  • Spell check and proof text very, very carefully before your final print out.

How to Prepare a Poster by Sven Hammarling and Nicholas J. Higham

  • The purpose of a poster is to outline a piece of work in a form that is easily assimilated and stimulates interest and discussion. The ultimate aim is a fruitful exchange of ideas between the presenter and the people reading the poster.

Guidelines for SIAM Poster Presenters

  • Your presentation should be based on displayed material.
  • A concise statement of the problem and the results obtained should be a conspicuous part of the display.
  • The display should be designed to take advantage of the fact that the presentation need not be "linearly ordered" as in a talk or written paper. For example, arrows directing the viewer to various parts of the display, and color-coding of different aspects of the work may be used to advantage.
  • Creative use of graphic detail such as drawings, charts and tables is recommended.

Society of Toxicology Instructions for Poster Presentations

  • A good poster should be like a good paper. However, avoid displaying a short manuscript. Be clear and concise in all statements. Include your objective, the design/methods, the results and conclusion. The objective of the work should be stated. Experimental details should be concise. Tables and conclusions should be clearly stated.
  • The temptation to overload the poster with excessive text and data should be resisted. Where possible, organize tables and figures chronologically in vertical progression.
  • It is helpful to bring handouts of your poster to pass out to those who are interested.

Advice on designing scientific posters by Colin Purrington, Swarthmore College