"Why Posters Are Best"CLARK GLYMOUR
Professional meetings in scientific disciplines have held poster sessions for many years. Increasingly, researchers tell me they would usually prefer to present their work in a poster session. It works on both sides: my own experience as an audience member is that I get a lot more from posters than from talks.
|1. As an audience member, I seldom know when I go into a talk whether I will be interested, bored or infuriated, but once in, barring rudeness, I'm stuck. Woe is me--I might have to listen to someone read their paper. Readings are for poetry. With a poster session, I can quickly survey the offerings to find what really interests me, and save a lot of time and annoyance.
2. When a speaker speaks, there are usually ten minutes or less of questions, or a commentary and questions. The commentator rarely asks what I want to know, and the speaker rarely answers. I may, or may not, get my 30 seconds of question and answer. With a poster, the interested audience can press for and listen to details, and the poster giver can actually learn something from interested people.
3. With a poster, poster givers and audience can actually start to work things out together, right there. I've seen it several times.
5. With a poster session, both audience and poster giver actually meet and talk. With a speech, the speaker speaks and disappears into the crowd. If I am interested in what she has to say, or in knowing more about her interests, I must stop her in a corridor while she looks around for someone more important with whom to talk.