If you’re interested in submitting a poster presentation for the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference, you’ll want to highlight your research findings in a visually appealing and succinct way.

“Poster presentations are a great way for clinicians to showcase their hard work on a project,” suggested Diana Ramirez-Ripp, HMCC, CWCMS, manager of live events for WCEI. “The content of the poster should interest your audience and provide a clear take-home message that attendees can grasp in a few moments.”

At the upcoming WOW conference, you’ll have the opportunity to share your research and accomplishments with other wound care professionals through poster abstracts. Posters are a standard at many conferences, and at WOW they include inspiring and thought-provoking presentations in various areas of wound care. These presentations combine text and visuals to share evidence-based knowledge in practice with WOW attendees.

Presenters receive a discount on conference fees and may receive further acknowledgment through awards and by sharing the research in publications.

So what can you do help your wound care poster presentation stand out? What ways can you present your abstract that will have the most impact on your audience? Below are some tips for capturing your audience’s attention.

Highlight the most important elements

Wound care specialists are an incredible community of nurses and other professionals who have an abundance of knowledge and guidance to share. To make your poster stand out in this sea of knowledge, craft an eye-catching title — one that clearly communicates your focus area of wound care. If you’re uncertain about your title, think about some key words you used often in your research or in your discussions with colleagues, then draw from those.

After pulling your audience in, you want to keep them engaged. Presenting your research in a clean, yet concise layout will give your audience a clear understanding of your work.

Consider how you can combine display format, sections, images, and text for optimal effect. Separating your poster into sections for each aspect of your research and findings makes your poster more visually accessible and will allow the audience to follow the course of your presentation more easily.

Consider what’s most important while assembling your abstract. Making certain every piece of your research is well documented should be at the top of your list. It’s one thing to start with an interesting theory, but you also need to support your idea through clinical documentation of your findings (clearly laid out from start to finish) to follow through in your wound care poster presentation.

How to make your poster stand out

Images are a supportive aspect of WOW conference posters. High-quality graphics, like progression photos of wounds, treatment methods, or tools used will enhance your presentation. Blurry or hard-to-see images won’t translate well and could potentially raise questions. Software or online tools that create high-quality graphics will be a huge benefit.

When using scientific tables, charts, or graphs, double check your details and make sure they’re easily understood. When referring to measurements, currency, time frames, or other details, make sure those are clearly labeled and legible on your poster. Adding a legend will help your viewer understand your data more easily.

As you’re creating and writing content for your poster, use larger text to grab attention and make the poster easier to read from far a distance. Bullet points can be helpful to limit the number of words and avoid long paragraphs.

Color is another way to make your poster stand out. Be sure to consider your color scheme as well as hue, saturation, and brightness. You’ll want to pair colors that complement each other and don’t distract the viewer or elevate one section over another. Also, when constructing your poster for WOW, be mindful of our guidelines, so your poster meets the necessary requirements.

Prepare your talking points

If you are orally presenting your poster, it’s important to engage your audience. Plan a discourse on your topic with short key points on index cards. Practice ahead of time, and try to avoid reading directly from your poster.

This is the time to highlight your accomplishments in your area of expertise, so pick a segment of your research that particularly interested you, such as treatment results or how a patient responded to a particular method. Elaborate on what makes your findings unusual or advanced.

The 2017 WOW poster award winner, Dianna Dashner, DNP, FNP-C, WCC, CLNC, LLE, offered guidance on speaking about your poster. You need to know your topic “inside and out,” she said.

“Be prepared for any question a person could possibly ask you,” said Dashner. “It is important to be able to break the subject matter down to layman’s terms to make it understandable. This will also help you keep the person’s interest.”

Dashner shared another great tip: “Have props which will help you to demonstrate what you are talking about.” For a presentation on angiosomes, for example, she adapted legs designed for Halloween decorations and put socks over them to depict the different angiosome areas. On one leg, she attached cutouts to identify how wounds would present in these areas.

As you prepare, try to anticipate any questions your audience may have. It can be helpful to discuss the poster with your colleagues and ask what follow-up questions the poster sparks for them. Another good tactic is to flip perspectives and consider what types of questions you would have if you were viewing this presentation. What aspects would you want to learn more about? What parts of the abstract are unclear? Are you curious about what compelled the presenter to choose this topic? These are elements to keep in mind.

Provide ways to connect in the future

A wound care poster presentation can help you promote yourself. After all your hard work, you’ll want to give people ways to reach out to you afterward for networking, employment, or other professional opportunities.

Consider creating business cards that you can hand out after you speak. You should also provide your email address on the outside of your poster so interested people can reach you. Some of these wound care posters may be published in various publications, and this is a great way to promote the work you’re doing.

Ramirez-Ripp emphasized that poster presentations can benefit the presenter, the attendee, and even the presenter’s facility. “It’s validating for the poster creator to be able to showcase the successful experiment or findings,” she said. “Attendees like to understand what’s going on, what your solution was, how you treated or healed the wound, and how your facility responded. Did your facility embrace your results? And afterward, was it implemented facilitywide?”

Whether you attend or submit a poster, you can still learn from the experience today and use the knowledge tomorrow.

Wound care is a specialty full of evidence-based research that is constantly evolving. Showcase your findings and accomplishments with a compelling poster abstract at Wild on Wounds 2024, and join us in shaping the future of wound care.

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Zelda Meeker

Zelda Meeker is a content marketing specialist for Relias. At Relias, she partners with physicians, nurses, curriculum designers, writers, and other staff members to shape healthcare content designed to improve clinical practice, staff expertise, and patient outcomes.

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