The chair person of my poster session has told each participant to make an one-slide presentation with one minute maximum speaking time (known as poster blitz or poster madness).

I am wondering what to keep on the slide and what to say in one minute? Is it Okay, if I speak my abstract only along with a figure? Could you please suggest me if there is any other good way of presentation?

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    You could also add a animation that showcases the basic idea of your paper if that is doable.
    – Alexandros
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 8:56
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    One important factor is how multidisciplinary your field is, and how many people in the room are likely to be aware of what your research is about.
    – Davidmh
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:04
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    @Alexandros I would be very wary of using animations in this context. You have 1 minute. That means zero time for getting things plugged in/working, so you'll be using their system. Does your animation work on their software version? Properly? Can you be sure?
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:23
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    "First of all, I would like to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to present this work..." Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 19:06
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    5 sentences, averaging about 12 seconds per sentence: 1. Topic: "This poster reports on a project which addresses the issue of ...." 2. Context: "This research draws on the theory of ...., particularly the idea that ...." 3. One major finding: "The study found that X had a significant effect on Y". 4. Key implications: (a) "One important implication of this study is that X should be taken into account when doing Y." (b) Wrap-up: "Overall we found that topic .... is a promising area for further investigation, with possible extensions to other areas of research, such as ..." Hope this helps!
    – A.S
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 13:47

9 Answers 9


I've seen this before and it can work very well. Your only task in the one minute slot is to convince people that they should come and see your poster. Say what you've been doing and why it's interesting. You could use your abstract as a starting point but don't just read it out. Keep the slide really simple with the paper title and authors and a single, striking figure.

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    +1, + where to find you (e.g. poster number) if it's anything larger than a tiny poster session.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:24
  • Tabloid headlines are a wonderful source of inspiration for brevity and invitation for engagement (the content, not so much, but that's your job at the poster). Commented May 14 at 12:57

Usually, in these "madness" sessions (that's what they're usually called on the conferences I'm familiar with), the one minute is more of an upper limit rather than a rough guideline. As such, your abstract may already be too long.

The main purpose of the one-minute-presentation is to serve as an appetizer for people to come and see your poster. Thus, while it serves a similar purpose as an abstract, an abstract should rather be more descriptive and matter-of-fact, whereas such a teaser presentation can easily be more on the "mystery" side, posing a question without answering how you solved it just yet.

A useful idea might be to pick an impressive graphic from your poster (one that makes the audience want to learn more), briefly describe your topic and give some hints, though not a full description, of the solution you present.


It may be better to start from your elevator pitch, rather than the abstract. If you don't have an elevator pitch, prepare that first.

The term "elevator pitch" comes from a scenario in which you happen to be in an elevator, or other situation allowing for a very short interaction, with somebody you want to influence. What do you say? The objective is not to deliver full details, but to get them interested enough to extend the interaction. See the Wikipedia article, or Forbes article.

The poster-at-conference version of the elevator pitch scenario is you find yourself in the elevator with an important professor in your field. You have less than a minute elevator ride to explain your research in such a way as to get the professor sufficiently interested to visit your poster.

Poster madness is just a very big elevator containing most conference participants who are likely to visit posters. It may be easier to think in terms of talking to one person first.

  • I like your answer. In case the OP doesn't know what and elevator pitch is, here's some links: The Wikipeida articel, a Forbes article, and a Chronicles of Higher Ed blog post. Please feel free to edit this into your answer as well. Commented Sep 15, 2015 at 13:16
  • Exactly. I also use the term "elevator pitch" to describe to my PhD students what they need (truly!) to have ready in case of opportunities... Commented May 23, 2016 at 21:18

Is it Okay, if I speak my abstract only along with a figure?

No, because usually your abstract is (usually) containing very condensed information and uses a sentence structure that is most suited for written language. If you just read your abstract, most people in the audience will have a hard time to follow you and not remember the essentials. You can easily test this by having random abstracts read to you.

Could you please suggest me if there is any other good way of presentation?

This depends a little bit on the diversity of your audience or at least the part of it that you want to come to your poster:

  • If your audience is rather diverse and needs some background information to understand what your poster is about, then this is as far as you can go. Think about the minimal information required to understand what your poster is about and talk about this. A similar approach is to just explain your poster’s title.

    Leave out everything that is not essential. This usually includes your results. Rather use the latter as a teaser (“come to my poster, if you want to know more”).

    Use a schematic graphics or similar as support, but be very careful with plots, as you usually do not have the time to even explain the axes or what you are actually plotting. Most graphics on your poster are probably not suited for this.

  • If your audience does not need background information to appreciate your work, you can convey a little bit more. You may be able to show a central plot, say why somebody should be interested in your work or what is novel. But in general, the above applies: Do not plan to present anything unnecessary.

Whatever you do, rehearse your presentation a few times and stop the time. Do not do any of the following:

  • use more than one slide;
  • cram content on this slide;
  • say your name or poster title (if the chair already said it);
  • talk about your university, collaborators or similar (I once attended a poster session, where somebody used up his entire time for just this).

Recently I went to a conference and one of the speakers of the 1 min presentation did wrote an ode to tomography. She showed up, recited a fantastic poem, and sat down.

Needless to say that she got an special prize for it.

My point: Just go there and show what you done, in the less "boring", less verbose way. Make it easy to understand, and show a fantastic picture on it, because ultimately your goal is not to present your work, but to convince the audience to go talk to you later!

Don't explain it, sell it!


The short answer from me will be: less than you think.

With only a minute, and it is a tickling challenge, you need a very good slide that sticks in peoples mind. You obviously cannot have an introductory slide with name and title etc since this will only flash by anyway; so make sure your name and affiliation (logo) is on the slide somewhere and can be seen so you are remembered. Then think about what is the most important point of your work (that you wish to present). Start out by concluding what you have found, this could (should) also be the title of the slide. What is then necessary to understand what you have done to reach the conclusion in just very few sentences.

The illustration(s) you chose is key to the presentation and should, as mentioned, capture the audience interest and help underpin your way to the conclusion. Do a search on "assertion evidence slides" and you will find several sources that can be of assistance to accomplish what I have outlined.

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    The OP writes that this is to by a one-page presentation. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 10:19
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    "make sure your name and affiliation (logo) is on the slide somewhere and can be seen" - actually, this isn't too important in my opinion. I have seen (and shown) quite some one-minute-madness slides that contained only a single large, interesting image and no further information, or maybe just the poster title, but no author or affiliation info. The one-minute-slide is there to catch the interest of the audience so they look at the poster, not to provide any insightful information that would be sufficient for collaboration requests. Therefore, the scarce space can be put to better use. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 13:04

1 minute isn't a lot of time. I'd recommend having 1 key point you want to get across. And then include points to support that key message.

Here's an article and video on elevator pitches... explaining why it's important to be laser-focused in any speech where you only have 1-2 minutes.


Find a question that is likely to grab the attention of many in your audience, because it is somehow relevant to them. Ask that question (e.g. Have you ever wondered if/how ...). Then explain in a few sentences how your work addresses that question.

Be very general and very succinct. You can sketch a very broad idea of what you're trying to do, but that isn't the top priority. It is more important to introduce the subject in words that an interested person will understand without prior introduction than it is to cover your work in any detail or to use terms and concepts that you use yourself while doing the work. It is also far more important to explain why your work addresses the question than to explain the work itself.

Your goal will be not to explain your work, but to get people asking questions to themselves about your work, which you can then answer after the presentation.


Just to complement several good answers, someone very wise once told me that you should always be prepared to explain what you are doing, in any amount of time.

She demonstrated that by giving surprise tours of her lab to visiting professors, where each "student" would have a few seconds to explain the gist of the work. If the work was interesting to the professor, you would have more time, even a "real" meeting.

In practice, start by trying to summarize what you do in one short sentence. Then a couple more, and go on... I find that is easier to go top-down than bottom-up, but either way works fine...

Also, never assume the person is familiar with your vocabulary/terms. Keep it simple at first, getting technical down the way...

I know it sound weird, but once you get used to idea, it is easy and works...

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