Do you submit abstracts for presentations or posters? — R Voice

Do you submit abstracts for presentations or posters?

Shruti Turner
Shruti Turner Member Posts: 242 ✭✭✭✭

Today I received notification about two abstracts I received this morning, one is accepted for a poster and one for a presentation. I've only given one poster presentation before at most people I know aim for oral presentations. In fact, for expensive conferences, I've known universities to only fund students to go if they have an oral presentation. I think this is a shame, because it's still a valid way to share research and network etc.!

What do you think about poster presentations - do you submit abstracts for them? Are there any advantages to them over oral presentation?


  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 302 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24

    @Shruti Turner : Interesting topic.

    I think it depends on the subject areas. In some areas: talks (3-5 min) are to accompany posters and vice versa (unless it is an invited or keynote, where we are talking about a different hierarchy of researchers).

    In other subject areas talk opportunities are given to researchers with more ground breaking results. Of course, this is not always the case in reality. (Quality may not be the only determinant - factors like being a part of a high-profile group, networking, etc. play their part in talk opportunities in some/many cases.)

    In my opinion (for my subject area): talks have a higher visibility. The person delivering the talk gets better known in the research community. However, that said - if a person networks (and properly does so i.e., the networking does not entail just exchanging business cards or connecting over LinkedIn - but following up, being proactive in a nuanced way, etc.) - talk or poster does not matter to gain visibility.

    Collaborations/getting to know in-person/networking with experienced researchers/big-names is an important part of the career because it gives a leg-up in the short term. Talks are a way to do this. Because - people presume that your results are important if you are given a talk opportunity, you are on the stage, people see you (and only you) and your results (only your results) for 15 min, etc.

    But - posters give the opportunity to make good bonds with equals in the hierarchy and peers, who WILL be the key players for forging long-term future collaborations. Also - poster sessions are more relaxed, more room and time for discussion/interaction, people get to know each other (and their works) better. This is the merit of posters over talks.

    And if by chance - a big-name comes along, it is a bonus.

    I usually apply for talks - which ends up with a poster opportunity, sometimes. And I feel thats ok because both have merits and we can make try to make the best use of both types of opportunities as circumstances in the conference unfold.

    [Ps: In my case - I stress less over poster preparations than talk preparations. My effort and time investment is less for posters than talks - and the returns (networking, good questions, etc.) are higher for poster, in general.

    However - in terms of what I put in my CV and what people perceive to be "successful" and an "achievement" - talks rank higher, I guess]

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 242 ✭✭✭✭

    @Raj sundaram I love when I see you have replied to something. I have posted. I know there will always be gems in your detailed responses!

    I am very used to the perspective on my own discipline, where the pros of oral presentations are the focus. It's good to hear about your thought on poster presentations and also the things we should be doing around just presenting. I know I often focus on the presentation part of conferences and not the networking..I think more because of my own anxiety around 1) presenting - like you I feel more confident about poster presentation than oral presentations and 2) talking to people I don't know. I much prefer it when people come to me - then I can talk for as long as there is time, but I struggle to approach people randomly. It's why I like posters, people come to talk to you or if I'm approaching someone it's because I have a concrete question about their work.

    You mentioned that talks rank higher on your CV - do you put poster presentations on your CV at all? I do if I have the space (depending on the role I'm applying for) but wondering what others do...

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 302 ✭✭✭✭

    @Shruti Turner As usual, you made me think.... 


    Totally relate to both 1) and 2).

    Public speaking is hard for everyone - even regular professional public speakers. Initiating conversations with strangers is also not easy. However, over time - we can learn/train to manage anxieties/doubts/shyness/fear/tendencies to hold back in both public speaking and initiating conversations. I think it comes with time and experience naturally - as people find their feet in their subject area/get to know themselves and the world/people better.

    Also - online poster/talk presentations/networking are 1000 times less nerve-wracking for me than in-person presentations. :D

    I think what made me get better/proactive at initiating conversations even if I didnt have a concrete question/specific remark/comment is that I started getting a kind of healthy high seeing people relieved when someone else (I) broke the ice.

    I didnt have any "techniques". But - if I remember right, it simply started by going to other people's posters and telling them exactly what people told me at my poster even if they didnt have a concrete question - "I find your work interesting. Can you please explain your poster to me..."

    Then, it was saying hi to people at banquets/mixers - making remarks about food/drinks/weather, asking questions trying to get to know the human side. People love to talk about themselves and people opening up also gave me a healthy high.

    I didnt go about always with the intent/purpose "I want XYZ from this person" or "I want this person to be my peer/collaborator". Sometimes, yes (more senior people, especially). But other times, it was just curiosity or picking brains with "What do you think about this"-type of open-ended questions. Not looking for anything puts people at ease and open up. Of course, depends on the person/situation/our own inclinations and feelings.

    In any case, enjoy the conference experiences - poster and talk. And congratulations on these opportunities.

    (Forgot to mention in my prevoius message 😅! )

    What goes in to the CV evolved over time, and depends on who is seeing/evaluating the CV (as you rightly point out). As more papers, talks and other "achievements" came by, posters didnt need mention - they made the CV longer without necessarily adding merit in my case. But during early stages (during and just after Ph.D) - I listed posters as well. Good luck!🙂

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 242 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 25

    @Raj sundaram - thank for the wide range of tips and encouragement in your last reply. They all make so much sense, I feel like I am going to have to meet people in person again and build up the courage to talk to them (even out of conferences)! I have never been a fan of talking to people I don't know and this past year has reinforced that as I've barely seen anyone in person. I will be sure to keep your tips in mind when I am next at a conference in person.

    Thank you for your insight into CV and of course your congratulations too!

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