when i hear the term “poster presentation” it causes me to pause. this is an oxymoron. is not a poster meant to stand by itself? is it meant to be placed on a person’s back or carried constantly by a person while he/she simultaneously expounds on what is already visible on the poster? is it useless without a commentator?
while many professional groups may on occasion use poster presentations, nurses commonly use such presentations. in fact, nurses become excited in the extreme at the thought of poster presentations. to nurses, poster presentations represent self-actualization. they are the zenith of educational achievement. don’t laugh – it is true.
while attending nursing school a large part of our grade in a class was based on the completion of a poster presentation. during this time, i was asked by friends, over lunch, what i was doing in my college nursing class. i stated we were drawing posters. my friends began to laugh. i had thought it was a juvenile thing to do myself, but it had not struck me until that moment just how juvenile it was. my friends thought i was joking and i explained that i was not. this caused me to think a little deeper about poster presentations.
the definition of a poster is: a large, usually printed placard, bill, or announcement, often illustrated, that is posted to advertise or publicize something. [www.thefreedictionary.com]
is a poster not meant to stand alone – to speak for itself? if not then why is it called a “poster”? to my mind, the measure of a poster is: does it (the poster, by itself) clearly inform the viewer of the subject it addresses. why else give its illustration any consideration?
the “poster presentation” group feels a poster must have a mouthpiece. why bother with a poster then? say what you have to say. stand there and repeat it as each person passes by.
frankly, i would prefer tinker toys, building blocks or even play dough to drawing/illustrating posters as a learning method. if not superior to posters, they are, at the least equal to posters as a teaching method. yes, they seem like immature ways to learn, but so does making posters.
if i am to view your poster, then please keep silent – do not speak and interrupt my appraisal of it. unless it is so simplified that it does not engage my brain, in which case, you should classify it as visual aid for your oral presentation and not as a “poster.” make sense, give an oral presentation and use visual aids if you like or simply make a poster, post it and walk away.