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Human Development and Psychological Counseling: Poster Presentations

Address Theme

Anytime you are submitting a poster or presentation proposal for a conference, ensure that your content and especially title, align with the theme.

For example: the theme for the North Carolina Counseling Association's 2018 conference is: Integrating and Accelerating: The Future of Professional Counseling.

Legally Use Images

While we can find thousands of images online, we need to ensure that we only use those that we have permission to use.  Look for those with creative commons licenses or ask the creator for permission.

Google Image Search: Along the top of the results from a google search, click on images. The click on "Tools" - "Usage Rights" - "labeled for reuse".

Here are some other places to find images that you can legally use:

Free Image Editing Software


Be sure to include the basics on your poster:

  • A title/subtitle that clearly conveys your topic yet is also engaging and draws someone in.
  • Your name(s), contact information and affiliation. Consider using an Appalachian State logo.
  • Content broken into smaller, scannable sections. If presenting original research, include hypothesis, research question(s), method, and conclusion.
  • Citations of your sources.

Visual Appeal

Headings & Text

  • Use 24 font or larger. Title should be twice the size of regular text.
  • Poster should be readable from 4 ft. away.
  • Use easy to read typeface: Ex: Times New Roman, Georgia, Bookman


  • Use columns, sections headings and blocks of text
  • Make use of white/blank space


  • Must relate to poster content. What story is it trying to tell?
  • Must be good quality. Avoid fuzzy or low resolution images.


  • Use a repeating color, font, or theme to unify poster content.

Creating & Printing

Adobe Creative Suite - available on all the Macs & PCs on the lower level of Belk Library. Ask for help at the Technology Checkout desk if you need it.

Powerpoint - Set your poster size first! Go to Design - Page Setup, Slides sized for: custom. Choose your orientation (usually portrait) and height/width. Make sure you know what the size requirement is for the conference!

Large format printing is available at Belk Library. Choose matte printing for a poster presentation. Please plan ahead and give enough time for printing.


Just like a research paper, a poster must include citations of articles you reference as well as images you use. Here are two examples of APA citations:

Journal Article:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. url or doi

Haberstroh, S., Barney, L., Foster, N., & Duffey, T. (2014). The ethical and legal practice of online counseling and psychotherapy: A review of mental health professions. Journal Of Technology In Human Services32(3), 149-157. doi:10.1080/15228835.2013.872074


Author/Creator/Owner Last Name, A. A. (Publication date or n.d.). Title of image in italics [media type such as Photograph, Drawing]. Retrieved from url

Viswanathan, N. (2009). Dogs! [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Presenting Your Poster

First Impressions

  • What do you plan to wear?
  • Put on your extrovert hat.
  • What is your opening line to engage your audience?

Elevator Speech

  • Key points you want to share
  • Use your poster
  • Speak clearly and slowly
  • Keep to under 2 minutes
  • Show your pride in your work

Handling Questions

  • Keep your nerves in check
  • Succinct answers
  • Say you don't know, if you don't know
  • Thank them for their interest


Social Sciences Librarian

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Allan Scherlen
Belk Library, Office no. 224
P.O. Box 32026
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608