Poster presentation outside of elementary school: help me be professional! Bonus question inside.
So I'm a student in my last year at undergrad and had (foolishly) taken on a quasi directed studies research-y thing for this term. I was assigned work in the second term and another person did the first term.
For the end of the term, we are to submit a full term report on what we've done, as well as do a 'poster presentation'. The requirements are that I'm supposed to make a poster as follows:
designed to fit within an area approximately 83 cm (33”) wide by 109 cm (43”) high. This should allow for a poster composed of 12-15 letter-size pages.
And then, along with it, have a 10 minute verbal presentation explaining the poster and a 10 minute Q&A period.
Okay, I've done internships before, but all my presentations were PowerPoint. I'm a chemistry student, and I think PowerPoint makes much more sense in terms of looking professional, drawing chemical structures, highlighting this and that, as well as making everything look visible because tables and such are blown up by a projector and projected nicely onto a wall. Posters, to me, are reminiscent of 7th grade science fair.
MeFites, help! How does one make this look nice and professional? (I have asked, and sadly, I am stuck with said poster.) Colours? No colours? Fancy fonts? Argh!
Without going into too much boring detail, my project was basically "previous person will make tons of precursor X for you, use X to make novel species Y and then test out how robust this thing is to see if you can use the procedure you used to make Y to make Z and etc."
The person before me made X, not to great amounts, and did not store it properly; much of it spoiled by the time I got there. I tried making Y a few times; met with little success, and the rest of the term has been spend trying to replicate her procedure (with moderate to low success) to make more X so I can do Y. Or try to.
To reiterate, because X took the last person her entire term, it's taken most of mine too even with her instructions (things just don't work sometimes). This does mean I have yet to have the chance to really test out how to make Y, or Z, or whatever.
How do I write a report and make a presentation when the majority of my lab time was spent trying to copy someone else's work? I could say I ran into more difficulties at this and that point, but that does not a full report make. (To boot, I had one less month or so of lab time than my predecessor, for various reasons I won't go into.)
Deadline for the report is April 15, the presentation, April 30. I am slightly panicking and I just got the email a few hours ago. Yes, I will speak to the prof, but I'd like the Hive Mind's opinion on 1) designing said poster and 2) what the heck to WRITE.