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Research Poster Basics
Section headers and text blocks

If you are using one of our research poster templates for your presentation you will notice the vertical columns. Although you don’t have to use columns in your poster, columns help you present your presentation in an orderly way. In the poster template the columns are in the background (Slide Master) and are protected from changing unless you go to the Slide Master and edit them. In the foreground you’ll find the two design elements we are going to work with in this tutorial: A section header bar (a blue bar with white type) and a text block containing some info about our company.

The section bars are used to visually separate the main sections of your presentation. Most scientific research poster presentations are divided in the following way:

  • Introduction, Background, or Abstract
    (a place to quickly summarize your topic and trigger your audience’s interest)
  • Materials and Methods or Process (a place to describe your process and what led to your results)
  • Results (the place where the results of your experiment are explained)
  • Conclusions or Discussion (the place where you explain why your results are conclusive and provide the reader with a short but solid justification of your hypothesis)
  • References or Literature Cited (This is where you make a list of the literature you have cited regarding this project. List the names of authors, publications and publishing dates)
  • Acknowledgments sometimes replaced by Contact Information (This section is optional but if you have the room you can use it to thank the people who helped with your project of provide your contact information)

Depending on your type of research you may have to use some variation of the above.

The text block under the Section Header on the template can be used throughout the template for holding your text. You can fill your whole poster by simply copying and pasting text into the Section Header and the text block. The Video below demonstrates how. If your are using an older version of PowerPoint the steps are almost the same.

What to avoid: Avoid placing your newly created section headers and text blocks outside the columns. Zoom in close (to 100%) to adjust their alignment. For best control, use the arrow keys on your keyboard.


This video does not require audio. Click on the youtubebutton icon to enlarge


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