In the scientific and research communities, conferences where you present your findings and research on large format posters are commonplace. Many times, these posters are set up with key research findings and lead into a discussion with attendees. A well-crafted poster can start the conversation the right way and get others to pay attention.
One of my favorite uses for Microsoft PowerPoint is as a super simple layout and design tool. While apps like Adobe InDesign and Scribus dominate the professional layout world, PowerPoint is easy enough to use because you can quickly draw content boxes and fill it in with your key ideas.
So when you’re preparing your next big poster presentation session, it’s crucial that you use all of the time you can for the content of that poster. Instead of spending time drawing the slide from scratch, use the featured free PowerPoint poster templates found in this tutorial to speed the process up.
Use Templates to Save Time
Whenever I start to work building a PowerPoint presentation, it’s rare that I start with a blank slate or with one of Microsoft’s built-in designs. Both of these options take more time to create the slides and wind up with results that aren’t as good as using a pre-built template.
Time is always of the essence. Gearing up for a PowerPoint poster presentation session is all about putting together your key ideas, creating visuals that support those ideas, and preparing to share it with others.
That’s why I turn to a couple of services that help me skip ahead in the slide design process. Using a template is as easy as finding a good starting point, customizing it with the details that are specific to your presentation.
One of these sources is Envato Elements, which is a flat rate, all-you-can-download site for creative assets. For a single monthly subscription rate, you unlock the entire design library that includes everything from presentation templates to stock photos to video footage. If you find yourself regularly building presentation, Elements is a great deal!
Another option for presentation templates is GraphicRiver. Instead of unlocking the entire library, you can choose files and purchase them one at a time. When you know what you’re already looking for, GraphicRiver might be the perfect choice to just buy a single PowerPoint template that helps you make an impression with a presentation.
Envato Elements and GraphicRiver don’t have templates that are the perfect fit for the traditional PowerPoint poster presentation design, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t useful templates. Use a template from Elements or GraphicRiver for handouts or slides that you can give
Principles of Poster Design
Before we start designing our poster session, let’s review some of the principles that make for successful posters.
The posters that we’ll build in this presentation will typically follow a common format that you’ll see at conferences. There’s a well-understood format that most audiences will recognize:
- Titles. It’s not unusual that a poster will accompany a research paper, so it’s helpful to have an official title in case others want to reference or applaud the contents of your poster presentation.
- Introduction. A plain language version of your research findings is crucial so that anyone can spend just a few seconds and understand the purpose of the research performed.
- Methods and Procedures. Most research features a structured approach to finding the results
- Results. Share the data that was an outcome from the results and procedures that you performed.
- Conclusions. Ultimately, share the findings of your research in a concise conclusion that sums up and conveys your outcome.
- References. If your research is built on critical assumptions, make sure to reference them in a section of the poster in case viewers want to cross-reference with other original works.
The research poster templates featured in this article typically have these key features. They might be labeled slightly differently, but the general placeholders are there. Just fill them in with your research work, and you’re on your way to a successful poster session!
Not every educational PowerPoint presentation has to fit the traditional poster template format. If you want to create something educational but eschew the poster format, check out the tutorial below to see 15 of the best poster presentation templates to create learning-centric PowerPoint presentations:
Top Sites for Free PowerPoint Poster Templates
Luckily, there are many talented creatives and researchers that share their hard work in the form of free PowerPoint poster templates. Many of these sites also offer printing services for the templates. That’s helpful because the templates are non-traditional print sizes that can’t be printed on most consumer printers.
Let’s check out some of the top sites that offer free templates for PowerPoint poster templates:
Leading off, the aptly-named PosterPresentations.com has a deep library of poster templates in an incredible number of printing formats. Just click on any of the thumbnails to download and start customizing these PowerPoint poster templates in over 20 sizes. You can also use this site to upload the finished template and print the poster.
Don’t miss out on the A0 and A1 format poster templates on this site as well. These are page formats that are fit to be printed on standard sized printing paper. You can use these for handouts to the audience.
MakeSigns offers up some of the more modern design options in this PowerPoint poster template round-up. There are 24 separate templates at the link above, each of which has six different sizes and formats that you can print directly through the site. Download the template, add your content, and prepare to print a poster that grabs the audience’s attention.
This site has over 22 different size formats for printing a PowerPoint poster template. It includes all of the standard poster sizes that’ll fit right at home on the exhibition tables of a showcase or conference. The simplicity of this design can focus the audience on the content instead of overwhelming them with unnecessary design elements.
One of the best things about this selection of templates is their flexibility. There are eight different choices that you can use to set up your printed poster. The sections in several of the templates aren’t labeled, so make sure to use the list of suggested sections above to build in all of the proper content for your printed poster.
The Microsoft Office template library always has a useful set of starting points for your next presentation. You can grab a poster template like the Science Project template you see below for one of the best ways to build a PowerPoint poster. It’s one of the easiest templates to customize thanks to Microsoft’s attention to detail.
The PowerPoint poster template format doesn’t get any simpler than the options on this site. All of these make nice use of white space so that the viewer’s eye follows the content from left to right.
It’s important to remember that keeping your scientific poster template design simple is one of the most important aspects of a successful poster presentation. In reducing the number of design elements, the audience is more likely to focus on the content.
Colin Purrington is a Ph.D. and professor at Swarthmore. He also happens to be kind enough to share some excellent PowerPoint poster templates that you can check out at the link above. They’re simple and easy to update.
This is another site that allows you to tie in to printing templates with a printing service called Genigraphics. There are six major categories of designs, each of which has dozens of sizes so that your poster will fit in with the standards of any conference. Again, this is another great selection because the templates are clean, easy-to-update, and include all of the placeholders you need to present.
For our international readers, this might be one of the best options in this article thanks to the dimensions that align well with the international dimensions typically expected at conferences. You can download one of these templates, customize it, and then print it through the same outlet that provided the conference poster templates.
Make sure to check out the link above to see the sheer number of poster templates that this site offers. This site includes both colorful and straightforward poster templates that you can use to prepare for a big poster session. As you can see in the screenshot below, the poster presentation templates have all of the critical elements you need for a successful poster session that grabs your audience’s attention and
In this article, we checked out some of the best sources for free PowerPoint poster templates. These templates are your key to quickly preparing poster presentations that’ll engage an audience and lead to discussions around your research.
There are plenty of other templates for PowerPoint for nearly every design occasion. Check out the other links in the round-up below to see other ideas for designing presentations and slides that engage an audience:
- Microsoft PowerPoint18+ Best PowerPoint Template Designs for 2018
- PowerPoint16+ Best Free Animated PowerPoint Templates With Cool Slides
- Microsoft PowerPoint20 Best Science & Technology PowerPoint Templates With High-Tech Designs
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make an Educational PowerPoint Presentation – Quickly
How do you prepare for your poster presentations? Do you use one of the poster presentation templates in this round-up, or do you design your own? Let me know in the comments section below.
Ready to Create a Presentation? Download a Professionally Designed Template Today
We’ve just explored poster presentation templates in PowerPoint. But if you need to create a presentation, there’s no better place to get started than with a professionally-designed PowerPoint template such as those found on Envato Elements or GraphicRiver.
When you use a template to make for your presentation, you save time because you start with top-notch slide designs. Quickly customize the slide templates by adding your own information and images. Why not get started on your next presentation now?