Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to present, for the first time in LACUNY Institute 2017 The Future of Librarianship: Exploring What’s Next for the Academic Librarian. The process could be a bit daunting for a first-time presenter. Where do I start? I don’t have a finished research topic? These were all questions I asked when presented with this opportunity. Here are a couple of tips from the experience.
Have a topic.. if you don’t already have one.
This poster presentation was a collaborative effort between Alyssa Brisset and I. It came out of our observations and experience working for a large institution and the community that surrounds it. Have an idea in mind, do the research, and tell a story. Our story was the gap in outreach that occurs in academic libraries and the role librarians play in conversations about civic engagement with students. We offered best practices, outreach, and pedagogical strategies to create a link between academic libraries and civic engagement efforts.
Presenting your content.
While preparing for this poster, we read many views on how to present the research, some said less is more, while others suggested that posters should be jammed packed with information. We decided to go for the less is more track, I wanted something fun, that would grab the attention of the viewers without having to read long paragraphs of information. If the viewer had any questions, we answered them to the best of our ability.
Have handouts and business cards.
Having handouts of the poster helped disseminate our information to the public because let’s be honest, they were not going to remember the content while also paying attention to the presenter next to me. Business cards were a bit tricky because both Alyssa and I are newly employed librarians and didn’t have our business cards yet, so we added our names and institutions to the poster in case someone wanted to get in contact with us.
This was the most difficult part, how can we make a poster that was appealing, fun, but also informative? Not too wordy? But also, not only filled with pictures? We started by looking at what others have done and a few research guides on how to present your research in poster form. We found canva, a graphic design, web page that was easy to use and helped us create the poster we wanted.
Have fun and engage with other presenters.
After you have proofread your poster once or twice and decided on a design, it’s time to carry the inflexible piece of cardboard on the subway during the morning rush (not fun!) and present!
- Be excited about your presentation.
- Don’t rely on your poster, talk about!
- Answer question to the best of your ability.
- Have handouts to give viewers.
- Talk to other presenters ( they also have valuable information)
- Have a blast and be super proud of yourself, you did it!