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Nurse Anesthesia Program Research Toolbox

Find helpful tips and educational resources for researching as you move through your CRNA program.

Presentation Best Practices

When presenting your research in any format, it is important to make sure that you are communicating your research well. This page will discuss best practices to make sure that your audience will be able to easily digest your research. 

Best practices for both presentations and posters are very similar.


When creating presentations you can use software/websites, like Canva or Powerpoint. The following are best practices when creating a slide deck presentation:

  • Avoid using too much color
    • Select only two or three colors to use throughout your presentation. Too many colors can distract from the message you are trying to convey.
  • Check your text contrast to make sure that it is readable and accessible.
  • Limit the amount of text on each slide
    • Use as little text as possible to get your point across. It can be tempting to put blocks of texts on each slide, but your audience will be unable to read all of the text and listen to you at the same time. Remember that, if you need to, you can break up text into different slides to make it more digestable.
  • Think about what you will be verbally saying during your presentation
    • You can add in much detail and specificity while you are presenting rather than having to list all of your information on the slides. 
  • Try not to use font smaller than 24 on your slides
    • You can use a variety of font sizes to help your audience differentiate between the title of each slide and any subsections.


Posters can be a little more difficult than presentations because you have to work with a set amount of space for your text and images. In addition to much of the advice for presentations here are poster best practices:

  • If your poster will be physically printed, make sure the information is visible and legible from about 10 feet away
  • Use as little text as possible to convey your information
    • Graphs, images, and other visuals can be a great way to convey information on your poster
  • Use a neutral background for any text sections and stick with black font
  • Focus on the main points of your research: question, results, and conclusions
  • Use a QR code, link, or handout to give the audience more information about your project and to list your references
  • Make sure you understand if there is a set poster size and to format your poster to that size before you start your design

Example of basic design elements of a research poster

This is an example of the basic design elements of a research poster. Image from: Scientific Posters: A Learner's Guide by Ella Weaver; Kylienne A. Shaul; Henry Griffy; and Brian H. Lower is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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