How to nail an academic poster presentation

Creating the poster

First up, you need to make sure you know what the specifications of your poster are. Things like whether the poster is landscape or portrait, and what the dimensions are. Stick to these specifications – you don’t want to turn up to a conference and have your poster hanging off the space you were provided or fall down because it is not the right size.

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Oral presentation or poster presentation?

I’m stepping away from the mental health focussed posts for a few weeks to bring you a new ‘conference series’. The plan is to help with decisions around presenting at conferences and to also provide handy guides to producing presentations that will help you communicate your work as succinctly and professionally as possible. Of course, I can’t completely step away from the self-care approach to studies, so this week’s post, which helps you decide between either a poster presentation or an oral presentation offers practical considerations but also personal factors to take into account in order to do what is right for you. I hope you enjoy this new series!

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An honest and vulnerable share…

Yes, this is my second post in as many days.

I sat down to write this post late last night after having dinner with a friend and only a few hours after my last post – which was all about non-negotiables and self-care. It feels kind of ironic in a way.

I was unsure whether to publish this post, but I decided to, and sooner rather than later – before I changed my mind. Because it’s always easier to talk about past struggles once they have been overcome and things are feeling better. It’s much more difficult and vulnerable to admit in the moment that things are hard.

I decided to post this because I am a huge advocate for mental health and I am always banging on about how important it is to share our difficult and challenging experiences in order for them to become accepted and so that we can know we are not alone – and I feel nervous about posting this. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t. But that isn’t what I aspire to, I want an open conversation and I’m going to have it. I believe that it really should not be a big deal to say you are struggling or that you’ve lost your way.

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Non-negotiables and self care

It’s self-care week! This campaign is led by the Self Care Forum and the NHS have got on board too. The focus of this week is about empowering ourselves to look after our health and to take steps that might reduce our chances of needing medical intervention later down the line. Self-care can operate on so many levels and can mean different things for different people depending on their lives and the things they might be facing at a particular moment in time. Today I wanted to share something that has been really important for me in my self-care journey (it really has, and continues to be, a journey…!), that is non-negotiables. 

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We’re all human in academia

This is not the post I had intended to write and send out this week, but nonetheless I felt inspired and like this was what wanted and needed to be shared on this occasion.

I recently requested for members of staff within a university department to complete an informal, anonymous online questionnaire about their experiences with mental health, both during their own PhD studies and also now as an academic. What follows are some of the insights I have had as a result of being privy to these experiences, ultimately, we are all human and though we may put others on a pedestal, they too have their own issues and difficulties to manage and cope with.

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Reflections on taking part in an Instagram challenge

Hello, it’s been a minute! I hope that everyone has enjoyed their summer and had the chance to have a break.

In today’s post I want to reflect on my experience of taking part in a 31-day Instagram Challenge. Read on to find out what I learnt, whether I would do it again and whether I recommend it.

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Is it ok to make people feel uncomfortable? 

This post has been inspired by two very different sources – but they have come together to form a post and a message that I would like to share. One about speaking our truth and being ok with making people feel uncomfortable. Read on to find out why I think the answer to the question, “is it ok to make people feel uncomfortable?” is yes, and why I think we should be actively seeking to do so.

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