Congratulations on having your research accepted for a poster presentation at the GSFL Roundtable. This page is designed to give you answers to some of the questions that we most often receive. If you have a question that is not included in this list, please do not hesitate to contact us at


What is the difference between a poster and a paper presentation?

These designations are commonly used in international conferences to distinguish between two Basic types of presentations.  Paper presentations are formal, timed, talks which are made to a seated, scholarly audience.  Poster presentations which consist of a researcher presenting his/her findings in the form of short informal talks around an illustrative poster prepared in advance. Young scholars very often prefer to present posters at the beginning of their career because this format is often more relaxed and therefore less intimidating. However, both paper and poster submission must be judged to have a high scholarly in order to be accepted for presentation at a GSFL conference.


How do I make a poster?

You can very effectively create a file for your poster using a word processing programs like Word or Powerpoint (PPT).  If you decide to use PPT, go to File and then Page Setup to customize the dimensions of your poster. There are two dimensions that we would suggest: 1.) a poster with a height of 36 inches and a width of 48 inches; or 2.) a poster with a height of 48 and width of 36 inches. These are the maximum dimensions that are permitted for posters at the GSFL.


How should I design my poster?
It is not effective to create posters that are filled with large sections of text.  They tend to be extremely hard to read and visually overwhelming for visitors.  Instead, we recommend that you divide your poster into different sections with eye-catching, subject-relevant visual aides. It is important to present your information in a way that reflects a natural, logical, progression of thought.  In designing your poster, select an organizational format that will make it easy for you to guide your listeners as you are presenting.  Your poster should also be easy to understand when you are not there. Remember, the posters will be  on Display during the entire roundtable.  People viewing your work should be able to easily identify the subject of your research, the method you used, the results you obtained, and the conclusions you have drawn. It is also useful to list a few  key references that are important to your work.  Resist the temptation of using too many references.  Ultimately, the poster is there to showcase YOUR research.


How and where can I have my poster printed?

There are three basic options that people use to print their posters: 1) a local copy/printing shop; 2.) university printing services; and  3.)  private online businesses.  Whichever option you select, be sure to check not only the prices, but also the turn-around time. While some facilities can print a poster while you wait, others may require a much longer  production and delivery time.  Do some early comparison shopping and pick the solution that is best for you


Do I need handouts?

Handouts are generally considered a courtesy to other conference participants. For the GSFL they are also expected.  The good thing about handouts is that they allow you to provide more information than may fit comfortably onto your poster (e.g. additional references).  The other good thing about handout is that they provide conference-goers with a tangible reminder of your work, who you are, and how to contact you.  For poster presentations, we recommend that you prepare no more than 30 handouts.  Handouts should be only one page long.


How will my poster be displayed?
On the first day of the Roundtable, when you come to the check-in desk, simply inform the GSFL organizational team that you are a poster presenter.  They will give you directions about where to hang up your poster.


How do I present my poster?

During the entire Roundtable, all of the posters will be on constant display.  This will allow conference attendees to view your work and prepare questions in advance. Then, during specially designated sessions, poster presenters will be asked to stand beside their posters and give presentations to interested audience members.  While some interactions with audience members will last only 10 minutes or so, other presentations may last much longer.  Be flexible.


Useful tips for presenting a poster

1.)    Don’t be afraid to ask visitors if there is something they did not understand or if they would like you to go into more detail.

2.)    Make sure that everyone has a good view of your poster.  One of the biggest mistakes that people make is standing directly in front of their poster and blocking people’s view.

3.)    Do not be mechanical.  INTERACT with your audience.  Invite and pose questions.  Some of the most lively discussions that take palce during the Roundtable are during the poster presentations.

4.)    Give people enough quiet time to read through the material on your poster.

5.)    Do not be afraid of silent spaces.  Remember that while you have gone through this material several times, this will be the first time for your audience.  Also, be sensitive to the fact that your  area may be different and relatively unfamiliar to a certain portion of your audience.  So, give everyone plenty of time to digest what you have said and formulate  questions and/or responses.

6.)    Remember that although most of our attendees are multilingual, you may not be giving your presentation in a language that is the native or first language of all of your audience members.  Be sensitive to that fact.  If you are a native-speaker of your presentation language, please speak a bit more slowly and clearly than normal.  Your audience will appreciate it!

7.)    Avoid getting drawn into intense conversations with a single audience member and ignoring the other listeners who might also be interested in learning about your work.  If you find that one person in particular would like to discuss your work in greater detail, suggest that the two of you talk later on during one of the breaks, lunches, or dinner.

8.)     If you notice someone hovering near your poster, don’t be shy. Introduce yourself and ask if he/she would like to hear about your work.

9.)    Make eye contact with your audience-members. If someone comes in the middle of your presentation, be sure to welcome him/her into the discussion.  You might even want to take a few seconds to catch that person up on points he/she may have missed.

10.)   At the end of your presentation and/or interactions, make sure your audience members walk away with a handout and be sure to thank them for listening.