Whether presenting an elementary talent show or annual sales figures to executives, keep these tips in mind when purchasing a lectern or podium:
STYLE : If you simply need an elevated surface to keep notes while speaking before a small audience, perhaps a tabletop lectern is the answer. They can sit on existing furniture and are lightweight, portable and inexpensive.
A better way for a speaker to draw the audience’s attention is to have a full-length lectern. These full-length lecterns come in a variety of designs and materials. In a small space, such as a classroom, a speaker stand with a simple base will be effective without using up too much floor space. A clear acrylic lectern is also a great solution for a small space or area that should have an unobstructed view.
For larger audiences, full-bodied lecterns will give more presence to a presenter and may act as a comforting barrier that can lessen stage fright. These lecterns come in a variety of wood finishes that will make any presentation look polished and professional.
Will the lectern be moved frequently? Look for lecterns or podiums that come with casters for ease of mobility. Adjustable height lecterns are also available for spaces that have speakers of all ages and sizes.
BUILT-IN ELECTRONICS : If you already have a public address system or only need a lectern for a small audience or classroom, a non-sound lectern will be sufficient and cost less.
For spaces that require ample sound and have no other public address system, consider a lectern with built-in sound equipment. Here are a few electronic features that can be found on most sound lecterns:
SPEAKERS Most sound lecterns come with up to four speakers and some offer output jacks to hook up additional speakers.
AMPLIFIER Sound lecterns include an amplifier that usually ranges from 30-50 watts. A 50-watt amplifier can accommodate audiences up to 3,000 people and a 30-watt amplifier will accommodate up to 900 people.
POWER SOURCE The power source is something to keep in mind should you need the lectern in a location without an available power outlet. Most lecterns offer both AC and DC power. Plugging the lectern into any standard wall outlet uses AC power, while DC power is used by way of a rechargeable battery.
ACCESSORIES : Many sound lecterns come standard with a one wireless microphone and one handheld microphone with a pose-able gooseneck arm. Most will also have extra input jacks for additional microphones that are available for purchase. Those additional microphones are wireless handheld microphones, tie clip or lavalier microphones and wireless headset microphones. Some other accessories that may be found on the sound lecterns are mounted reading lights, digital clocks and locking cabinets to secure expensive electronics.