Technical Posters

Technical posters are a common form for explaining a particular scientific, mathematical or technological research study. Your poster should stand on its own, but typically the authors of posters accompany them and discuss the information with conference participants. Think of posters as a way to start a conversation about your work.

General Guidelines

Each technical poster for the SME Symposium should:

  • Be 36" height x 48" width and explain a particular study that you have performed
  • Follow APA Format and Reference Guidelines
  • Contain a six (6) or seven (7) part format: a title, an introduction and/or abstract, an optional list of objectives, a methodology, a discussion or results section, a conclusion and a references section
  • Use straightforward language, keeping each section under 500 words
  • Display all text and fonts as readable from four (4) feet away
  • Use columns to present and format poster layout
  • Include relevant and striking visuals that are of high-quality resolution (approx. 300 dpi if possible) when printed

There is no one correct way to create a poster; however, many examples and resources exist to help you create a technical poster that fits general expectations. Technical posters are often created using PowerPoint or publishing software like InDesign. Students may use Adobe Creative Suite products through the Adobe Desktop on SLCC All Access. Here are some resources for your use:



Printing Your Poster

The SME Symposium will print ONE copy of a poster if it is submitted to before Monday, March 27. Refer to these free PowerPoint poster templates for help designing your poster.  *SME Symposium staff are NOT responsible for mistakes or printing errors, proofread your poster before submission.

If this deadline is missed, participants will be responsible for printing their posters. Students can print their posters wherever they would like including the SLCC Printing Services Center. We recommend that you take your poster to a printer at least one full week in advance of the conference. If you do not, your poster may not be ready for presentation.

Conference Participation

Upon submission acceptance (see how to Submit Your Proposal), you'll need to submit an electronic copy (PDF – no larger than 4MB) of your poster at least a week before the symposium to Please include in your email's subject heading the submission category and your last name such as "Poster Presentation – Brinton." Include all contact information (name, preferred email, and phone) in your email to us.

On the day of the symposium, participants will bring their posters with them to registration. Immediately afterward, they will set up their posters with their own stands or easels. Participants are expected to stand by their poster during their poster presentation session to discuss their subject and answer questions from judges or other visitors but not for the whole symposium.


During the symposium, evaluators will stop by and expect you to explain your work and may ask questions. Here are the general judging criteria for posters:

  1. Adherence to General Guidelines (see above)
  2. Content
    • Is the purpose and main point readily identifiable?
    • Does the content follow an easy to grasp structure and order?
    • Is scientific, mathematical, or technological content explained clearly for an appropriate audience of academics, students, and lay audiences alike?
    • Are key points supported by evidence, including cited research, graphics/charts, equations, or rhetorical devices such as logic, appeals, or figurative language?
    • Is evidence relevant and crucial for contributing to one's understanding of the subject or argument?
    • Is content student's own work?
    • Do the results or conclusions contribute to the understanding, use, or study of the subject matter?
    • Is there any indication of plagiarism?
  3. Style and Format
    • Are texts and graphics balanced, creating a sense of harmony and stability?
    • Are words and images aligned with each other to highlight structures, create content hierarchies, or improve readability?
    • Are related images and words placed into groups and kept separate from other groups?
    • Are style and format choices used consistently to create a sense of uniformity and cohesion?
    • Does color and contrast help organize or highlight content?
    • Are in-text and bibliographic citations present and correctly formatted?
    • Does syntax, grammar, or punctuation impede coherence?
  4. Presentation & Delivery
    • Did the presenter(s) and presentation engage the audience and draw their attention?
    • Was the demeanor and appearance of the presenter(s) professional?
    • Did presenter(s) avoid jargon, speak clearly, and maintain a good pace?
    • Did the presenter(s) effectively use body language, gestures, and eye contact?
    • Was presenter(s) knowledgeable about subject and respond adequately to questions?
  5. Overall Impression

Winners for the technical poster entries will be announced during the SME Symposium dinner.