If you are presenting at a conference in your field, your audience will likely contain mostly people who will be familiar with the basic concepts you’re working with, field-specific terminology, and the main debates facing your field and informing your research.
This type of audience will probably most interested in clear, specific accounts of the what and the how of your project.
What is the single most important thing you want your audience to understand, believe, accept, or do after they see your poster?
Once you have an idea about what that take-home message is, support it by adding some details about what you did as part of your research, how you did it, why you did it, and what it contributes to your field and the larger field of human knowledge.
Help your audience to see what your project means for you and for them.
How do your findings impact scholars in your field and members of the broader intellectual community?
Choose a few key pieces of evidence that most clearly illustrate your take-home message.
Often a chart, graph, table, photo, or other figure can help you distill this information and communicate it quickly and easily.
If you are presenting in a setting where some audience members may not be as familiar with your area of study, you will need to explain more about the specific debates that are current in your field and to define any technical terms you use.
This audience will be less interested in the specific details and more interested in the what and why of your project—that is, your broader motivations for the project and its impact on their own lives. One of the biggest pitfalls of poster presentations is filling your poster with so much text that it overwhelms your viewers and makes it difficult for them to tell which points are the most important.