Presentation Guidelines

For K-12 entries, a 24” x 36” poster or tri-fold table-top board is required.

Tri-fold Table Top Board for K-12 entries only

For College entries, a 24” x 36” poster is required.

24" x 36" Poster for College and K-12 entries


The intent of the poster or board created for “Innovation Day” is (at the minimum) to demonstrate: 

Need for the product development by your team (answer the “what” and “why”)
  • What is the opportunity?
  • Why is this a pain point? 
  • What did the customers say?


Prototype development (answers the “how”) 

  • How did you identify customer needs and how was this translated to concepts?
  • Topics could include identifying customer needs, translation of needs to product attributes, initial sketches and models, refinement of ideas, final prototype after feedback, etc.
“Engineering” challenges overcome (answer the “what”)
  • What is the innovation and what challenges did you overcome?
  • Provide the big picture -- finer details such as computations are not expected.
Other points to consider while creating the presentation:
  • Competitor analysis
  • Market research

Some things to keep in mind while creating the posters:

As with all communication, this is an art form. There is no single recipe for success. There are many creative ways to display and convey information. Remember, when it comes to posters, style, format, color, readability, attractiveness, and showmanship all counts. Take the time to make things clear.
DO design the poster as if you were designing the layout for a magazine or newspaper. Select fonts and sizes that work together. Strive for consistency, uniformity, and a clean, readable look.

REMEMBER that the purpose of the posters are:

  • To connect with the viewers
  • To direct and hold the attention of the viewers
  • To enhance the viewers’ understanding and memory by providing easily digestible information
DO lay out the poster segments in a logical order, so that reading proceeds in some kind of linear fashion from one segment to the next, moving sequentially in a raster pattern. One way to set up this pattern is columnar format, so the reader proceeds vertically first, from top to bottom, then left to right. This has the advantage that several people can be all reading the poster at the same time, while walking through it from left to right, without having to exchange places. Consider numbering your individual poster pieces (1,2, 3…) so that the reading sequence is obvious to all. Always make sure that all figure legends are located immediately adjacent to the relevant figures.
DO make the title large enough to be easily read from a considerable distance (15-25 feet).
Remember that titles in all capital letters are harder to read.
DO put the names of all authors just below (or next to) your project title. (First names rather than initials are preferred.) For professional presentations, institutional affiliations should also be inserted.
DO use color in the poster, and always try to use them in a way that helps to convey additional meaning. Colors attract attention but can equally well detract from your message when misused. Fluorescent (neon) color borders just don’t cut it for posters. Neither do excessive variations in color (the rainbow look). For color borders, select something that draws attention but is not overwhelming. For color artwork, make sure that the color actually means something and serves to make useful distinctions. If pseudo coloring is necessary, give thought to the color scale being used, making sure that it is tasteful, sensible, and above all, intuitive. Be mindful of color contrast when choosing colors, never place isoluminant colors in close proximity (dark red on navy blue, chartreuse on light gray, etc.), and remember that a lot of people happen to be red/green colorblind.
DON’T pick a font that’s hard to read. Please, don’t get too creative in your typeface selections. Don’t mix a large number of fonts.
Difficult: Sans-serif fonts, Helvetica (better for short text items than long texts), Courier (mono-spaced are hard to read).
Good: Serif-based fonts help guide the eye along the line and improve both readability and comprehension.
DON’T use too small a type size for the poster. This is the single most common error. Never, ever, use 10-12-point type.
DON’T vary the type sizes and/or typefaces excessively through the poster. For example, don’t use something different for every bit of text and graphics. Font at the same level (example, heading, first level bullet) should be the same size and type throughout the poster.
Finally, a few words about wording:
  • Don’t overwhelm the reader with too much information
  • Use phrases instead of sentences as much as possible
  • Use bullets
  • Use appropriate grammar and spelling
  • Use active, not passive verbs


Most Importantly - - - PROOFREAD YOUR WORK