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Michigan State University

Science Communication Guide

Resources to support the MSU science community in effectively sharing research with the academic, scientific, and public audiences.

Getting Started

Poster sessions are a common format for presenting research at most academic conferences. It is also one of the most common formats for undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career researcher to begin presenting their research. The following guides provide information on research poster best practices and design basics to help you get started.

Creating Posters with PowerPoint

Poster Templates

What software do I use to make a poster?

Powerpoint is one of the most common options for making posters. We have added some samples to this FAQ for your convenience.

Created in PowerPoint, these templates are an easy way to make a poster. Each template is a single slide enlarged to poster size, either left blank for your content or with sample text boxes and charts into which you can insert information. Feel free to alter as desired.

To open a template in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, right-click your mouse button on the appropriate link below, select "Save Target As" or "Save Link As," and choose where you would like to save the PowerPoint presentation. Then, open FOr PowerPoint and open the file you just saved. 

Or, you can create your own poster template:

1)   Open PowerPoint
2)   Go to Design
3)   Click on Page Setup
4)   From the drop-down list 'Slides sized for", select Custon (the last option on the list)
5)   For a standard 3' x 4' poster, type in Wiedgth 48" and Height 36"
6)   Click OK. 
7)   Click on Home.
8)   Click on Layout.
9)   Select a "Blank"
10)  Insert images, text boxes and the like using the Drawing set of options.  

Note:  The MSU Libraries Plotter is available for poster creation.    See the Plotter FAQ page.       

"Better Poster" Design

Video created by Mike Morrison, Michigan State University organizational psychology doctoral candidate, on how to create better research posters.

Michigan State University