Linguistics and Philosophy


September 8 – September 10, 2023, at MIT, Cambridge, MA

Guidance for Posters




The tips on poster design and presentation below are an abridged version of the AMP 2022 Guidelines for Poster Presentations

  1. Poster etiquette
    • Try to prepare a short verbal run-through; many visitors will want to visit multiple posters and will feel uncomfortable if you have them trapped at your poster for a long time.
    • Speak loud enough to be heard by all those around your poster.
    • Do not let one visitor monopolize a long stretch of time when others are present.
  2. Avoid wordy, overlong posters
    • By far the most common error is to try to include too much. The result is a busy poster, with small type, hard to read from a distance.
    • Please be aware that many conference-goers regard a crowded, small-font poster as a red flag and are likely to walk right past it.
    • The web site listed below suggests a maximum of 800 words.
    • The length problem usually arises from misunderstanding the poster’s purpose. Your poster is not supposed to cover the full content of the research. Rather, it is like a scholarly “advertisement” for the full paper. So, hit the highlights and get your main point across.
    • Telegraphic, caption-like presentation can be easier for your audience than paragraphs.
  3. Get your poster vetted in advance
    • It is a recurring ritual in many departments that people with posters tape a draft version to the wall and solicit the comments of teachers and peers.
    • On the same occasion, you can practice your 2-minute oral run-through.
  4. Provide examples
    • Even though poster space is at a premium, do not sacrifice example forms, which assist intelligibility.
  5. Include graphic material
    • For instance, tableaux, graphs of experimental results.
    • These take up a lot of room but it really pays to include them.
  6. Organizing the panels
    • Arrange the panels of your poster arrayed in columns left to right. Do not ask readers to follow a non-standard path simply because it will save you space.
    • Retain enough white space so that the layout is clear.
  7. Font size
    • Make your title big, and use intermediate-size fonts to clarify the structure of your poster.
    • Smallest size should be readable (even by people with imperfect vision) from a distance of 5 ft / 1.5 m.
  8. Digital resources
    • Make it possible for others to download your poster (or full paper, or whatever) by including a link to your website.
    • People often provide QR codes to make this process quick and easy.
  9. Sound files and other supplementary materials
    • QR codes can also let your visitors access illustrative sound files quickly.
  10. More advice

Questions? Please email us at for any questions or issues that may arise.