Let the Lectern Languish

Haydock Park – 2016. I was presenting that morning for 45 minutes and as is my volition, I was working with the sound team to ensure my visuals and the microphone would work without a hitch. This team can make or break your talk so they’re important allies.

I looked up at the stage and someone had put an enormous bright white wooden lectern on the stage. Without thinking I blurted out “Who’s put that monstrosity on the stage?”

“I did” defended the head technician. “Whoops” I thought as I imagined my microphone going off half way through my presentation.

“The client asked me to bring one along, I’ve just bought it”

I quickly had to justify my reaction. Here’s how:

  • Standing behind the lectern restricts the speaker’s ability to use their body language and gestures to support the message.
  • The lectern acts a barrier
  • It encourages the speaker to read notes as they are in front of them. Disaster.
  • They stifle any energy from the speaker
  • Often the audience has anchored any speaker that stands behind the lectern as a dull listless speaker since every speaker before them was so
  • They’re not bullet proof, by the way, although some nervous speakers thought they were.

“It’s not my fault” said my technician buddy “I don’t like them, I was told to bring it by the organiser”

Let the lectern be banished from the kingdom of the event organiser.

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