Decide with one month to spare that you will attend an overseas conference and frantically make travel arrangements.
Email the incredibly responsive conference organizers because you’re not sure if you can give a talk or if you need to present a poster instead.
Make a poster so great that you win the poster competition and get to give a last-minute talk the next morning as a result.
So that happened. You can watch my talk here.
The Cool Stars 19 conference was outstanding for many reasons, and winning the postdoc(!) poster competition was just one of them. Of course, the ability to make a good poster did not appear in my head out of nowhere! One set of great guidelines is here, and AstroBetter has compiled many handy resources about conference presentations (including posters) too.
Rather than rehash everything that has already been said about making effective posters (you did click on the links above, right?), here is an overview of how I approach poster design together with some tips to make your poster visually compelling.
Re-read the abstract you submitted to the conference weeks ago. Is it overly ambitious? Totally off-base? No matter. Your poster is an opportunity to ...