Here’s a lesson you don’t want to learn the hard way — posters have a way of getting misplaced, left behind in
cabs, buses, or cars, or lost in hotels and baggage claim areas
at airports, so having a backup copy that you can print out in
an emergency can be a lifesaver! Be prepared for the unexpected! Before you leave for the meeting, copy your poster
files onto a flash drive and bring it with you to the
Practice presenting a one-minute summary of your research. Ask
a friend to listen to your summary and provide feedback. You
should also be familiar with prior research done in the area.
It’s also a good idea to bring business cards to give to those
who visit your poster and to others you meet while networking.
Include your name, address, phone numbers, degree major, and
graduation date. It is also wise to include a professional objective,
such as graduate school, an internship, or an employment position. Business cards will help you to appear more professional and
make you more memorable to those you meet.
When you offer your business card, be sure to ask your visitors
for their business cards as well. Write a note about your conversation with each person who visits your poster on the back of their
business card, and follow up by e-mail within one week after the
meeting. In the e-mail, you might thank your visitors for stopping
by your poster, answer any questions they had, or send them
more information pertaining to your poster.
If there is a point at which no one is visiting your poster,
resist the temptation to text or talk on your cell phone or talk
with nearby friends. These actions will make visitors less likely to
approach your poster. Also, be aware that some visitors may be
evaluating you for graduate school or for a professional position,
so exude professionalism at all times.
At an ACS poster session, you may be talking to undergraduate or graduate students, faculty, members of industry, or others with an interest
in chemistry. Find out what they know about your research area and
adapt your presentation accordingly.
Come equipped with a notepad and pen so that you can write
down suggestions from visitors about your poster, future directions of your research, or where to apply to graduate school. After
the end of the poster session, jot down notes of what went well
with your poster presentation and what you hope to improve
upon for the next time. Include any new ideas for additional
research or experiments relating to your research, and any unan-swered questions you may need to discuss with your advisor.
Feel proud that you have taken the next step on your professional
inChemistry • www.acs.org/undergrad