On Saturday, at the 2013 Manchester Metropolitan University Postgraduate Conference, my poster hung alongside 18 others, which were divided pretty equally into posters that were better than mine (some a lot better), and others that made the same mistakes as me, but more of them!

My self-criticism of my poster, which was echoed by some of my fellow students, is that I tried to fit too much text into a medium that people are only going to browse for…what…about five minutes at most.  As someone who tends towards the verbose anyway, attempting to say too much in too little space or too short a time is a major fault. I am accustomed to watching people’s eyes glaze over as I burble enthusiastically on, leaving my “elevator pitch” far behind. Next time I’m going to be a lot more disciplined in cutting the copy to the minimum required to get my message across.

I think those who did stop and peruse at least some of my text enjoyed what they read and saw, and the overall design wasn’t bad, if a little bottom-heavy and again rather crowded. And the poster initiated some great conversations with fellow researchers, which I guess is the real purpose behind such an activity.

So my instruction to myself whenever I create a poster in future  is: “Cut the crap!”