U.S. Department of Energy

Environmental Management Science Program Workshop

Guidelines for Preparation of Online Poster Presentations

While a title header can span an entire poster display board, a web presentation header can only span a single screen. (Although it may be repeated on subsequent screens, if necessary.)

Poster presentations are inherently horizontal while web pages are normally extended vertically. (Although it is possible, but not normal practice, to scroll pages horizontally.)

On computer screens, fonts without serifs (e.g., Helvetica) are much easier to read than those with serifs (e.g., Times Roman). In a poster presentation this distinction is not as critical - although sans-serif fonts are still preferable.

In a poster session, the author/investigator is normally available to verbally elaborate and explain details. A web presentation may need to include additional textual elaboration on some points in a manner which does not interfere with the flow of the presentation.


In either medium, content is always the most important element. Presentation should enhance communication - but not detract from content.

Project and investigator identificationshould be clear and prominent.

Good organization and layout facilitate logical flow of the presentation.

Graphics are critical elements of a good visual presentation.

Colors are used to attract attention to important elements. However, too much color, or too many different colors can be distracting and confusing.

Different fonts (sizes, colors, styles) can be used to emphasize important points. However, font consistency is important for readability. Readability is enhanced by using dark fonts and graphics on a light background.