Your poster should include these elements:
If your poster is a representation of a research study, you will want to include the following sections:
If your poster is a representation of an event or other kind of project, you may want to forego formal abstract sections in favor of the 5 Ws:
To change the size in Powerpoint:
Click the View tab to see checkboxes that will allow you to turn on the Ruler, Grid, and Guides (click the image below to see a screenshot).
Ruler: Allows you to see the dimensions of your slide. You'll see a vertical and horizontal ruler.
Grid: By default, the gridlines are 1 inch apart. Right click in white space of your poster to get more options for spacing. This enables precise alignment.
Guides: By default, you'll get one horizontal and one vertical guide placed in the center of your poster. Right click on a guide to add more guidelines, or to delete one. You can use Guides to invisibly define columns of your poster, margins, and more. This gives you manual control, alternatively, you can use Smart Guides (see below).
Smart Guides: Powerpoint has a built-in system for showing you alignment as you move objects around. The video below demonstrates what Smart Guides look like.
Once you've got your slide layout set, you'll want to start creating Shapes and Text Boxes. Here are some tips and tricks for working with objects:
Most posters are landscape (horizontal) orientation. The title/author(s) will be across the top, with 3–4 columns below that contain the rest of the poster elements. Make sure you leave plenty of white space in your design—a poster crammed full of text and images is very difficult to read.
Here is an example of a 2 column poster layout using the 5 Ws for headings (who, what, where, when, and why):
Use the links below to download this template and other similar templates in two sizes: 24x36 and 36x48. These templates include a variety of placeholder elements for photos and figures.
Below are some additional web resources where you can search for templates. Keep in mind that you may need adjust the size of a template for your own poster. Alternatively, you can use the resources on this page to design your own layout in Powerpoint.