Over the weekend you might have heard me tweeting constantly about creating a poster for University. Unfortunately this poster was not made from coloured card, highlighters and glitter glue (media studies yey!), it was for the upcoming postgraduate event at my university (University of the West of Scotland) where I will be presenting next week.A few people have asked me about it in real life – as well as taking advice from my colleague Ana (who wrote her own reflections from her poster presentation in 2008 and a more recent resource a few days ago). I used the University of Leicester poster presentation guide (prepared by Stuart Johnston in SSDS) as a guide and starting point for the project. It is an excellent (and open) resource for anyone who hasn’t got the first idea where to begin at presenting their research on a poster (me then..) As I have not presented yet, I have decided to split this post into a two-parter; firstly reflecting on the poster creation and then concluding with reflections from the event itself. I have attend two poster events previously – one when I worked in alumni department at the University of Leicester, where the alumnus sponsored a prize at the festival of postgraduate research – and secondly as part of a greater event on interdisciplinary practise at Loughborough University. This is the first time I have presented as a delegate. The idea of a poster presentation session (at least in a PG context) is to allow for the students at the University to present their work in an environment outside of their usual environment and to be exposed to the practise of communicating their work to a wider, generalised audience- they tend to be formed across campuses and departments, and the audience who participate tend to be coming from a non-specialised background. The poster needs to be eye catching enough to attract the attention of the people walking past – and it should be clear enough to read at a distance – so no clutter, dodgy fonts, etc. (Same rules are powerpoint presentations.)
The poster I am presenting is centred around my fieldwork in Vancouver – although I have attached the poster to this entry, I will try and use any discussion time to clarify concepts around emerging/converging media/communication platforms, talk about preliminary experiences and observations and generally focus on the Olympic lens of the research project. I have made an active decision to avoid talking about technology or social media as a forefront focus as it tends to provoke one of two reactions:1) “That internet is not for me..” (Switches off)
2) “You’re not doing the Internet properly..” (proceeds to tell others about how they use the web) Certainly these discussions are worth having (perhaps) – but from experience, they tend to cloud and distort the rest of the project before getting to the meatier part of the research context. Furthermore, as it is general audience, I don’t want to spend too much time discussing technology (unless it is in the pub afterwards) Lastly, I’m in the process of articulating ideas around technology, morality and demotic behaviour – and I’m not quite ready for articulating that area just yet. By cutting out the focus on technology altogether, I hope to be able to talk about elements of the Olympic media framework which is not purely sport, or part of the international spectacle – instead thinking about how the forthcoming games will effect our own lives and what others might expect to encounter during the run up to London 2012. It is through this context I will attempt to frame discussions relating to changing media landscape, rather than the other way around. I hope they find the information about alternative Olympic messages as fascinating as I did when I found out about them.
That’s the plan anyway – I will update in a week’s time to reflect on the presentation aftermath. I hope that it might be a useful resource to future PhDs, like Ana’s and Stuart’s were to me.