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Lectern Etiquette: 10 Essential Tips for Event Managers

Event managers are the unsung heroes behind successful gatherings, whether a high-profile corporate conference, an intimate seminar, or an exuberant award ceremony. They handle everything from scouting the perfect venue, coordinating with vendors, managing attendees, and ensuring that every tiny detail aligns to create a seamless experience. One such detail, often overlooked, is the lectern.

A lectern is a focal point in many events, acting as a platform that brings speakers closer to their audience. It can significantly influence the tone and success of your event. Therefore, knowing how to manage a podium properly is a skill every event manager should have in their arsenal.

Here are ten essential tips on lectern etiquette for event managers:

1. Select the Appropriate Lectern

Selecting the perfect podium for your event is a critical first step. This decision hinges on various factors, such as venue size, event type, and speaker preferences. Whether you need built-in microphones, reading lights, or a minimalistic design, the ideal lectern should enhance your event’s aesthetic and meet your speakers’ needs. Here are some options to consider:

Aluminum Lectern:

An aluminum lectern is a prime choice for those seeking a blend of modern design and durability. Its lightweight structure and customizable features make it adaptable to any setting.

Acrylic Lectern:

If you’re after elegance, an acrylic lectern could be your perfect match. Its stylish design and concealed A/V components make it particularly suitable for high-end events.

Wood Lectern:

For those who appreciate traditional craftsmanship and bespoke options, a wood lectern won’t disappoint. It offers a variety of styles and customization options to match your specific needs.

Accessible Lectern:

Inclusivity is key in any event. An accessible lectern caters to speakers of all statures, including wheelchair users, ensuring everyone can engage their audience effectively.

Remember to consider additional features that can enhance the lectern’s functionality. These extras can significantly improve the speaker’s experience, from built-in microphones to reading lights. Remember, the right lectern should complement your event’s aesthetic and cater to your speakers’ needs.

2. Position it Perfectly

The placement of the lectern can significantly impact the dynamics of your event. It should be in a spot where the speaker is visible to all attendees without obstructing any visual aids like projectors or screens. Also, ensure that it allows speakers to make comfortable eye contact with the audience, fostering a more engaging and intimate interaction.

3. Ensure Microphone Functionality

Sound clarity is vital for the delivery of a powerful speech. If your lectern has a built-in microphone, conduct a thorough sound check before the event. The speaker’s voice should be clearly audible, without any disruptive feedback or echoes.

4. Make a Water Station Available

Public speaking can be dehydrating work. Providing a water station at the lectern is a thoughtful addition that your speakers will appreciate. It also helps to prevent any uncomfortable dry-mouth situations during the speech.

5. Smooth Speaker Transitions

Plan for smooth transitions if you have multiple speakers lined up for your event. This includes clearing any notes or materials left by the previous speaker and guiding the next speaker to their position. A well-executed transition keeps the event’s momentum going and maintains audience engagement.

6. Offer a Brief Lectern Tutorial

Not all speakers are familiar with using a lectern effectively. A quick tutorial before the event can help them understand how to adjust the microphone or where to place their notes. The more comfortable a speaker is with the lectern, the more confidently they’ll deliver their speech.

7. Maintain a Clean Lectern

Throughout the event, ensure that the lectern stays clean and organized. A cluttered lectern can be distracting for both the speaker and the audience. Remove any leftover notes, water glasses, or other items after each speech.

8. Encourage Effective Lectern Use

The lectern or podium should enhance the speaker’s presentation, not act as a barrier. Encourage speakers to step away from it if they wish to engage more directly with the audience. Remind them that the lectern is a tool, not a shield.

9. Adjust for Each Speaker

If your lectern is adjustable, modify it according to each speaker’s height. A speaker who is comfortable will deliver a better presentation, which in turn makes for a more enjoyable event.

10. Have a Backup Plan

Despite all your preparations, unexpected issues can arise. Have a contingency plan ready for any lectern-related mishaps. This could include having a spare microphone or quickly fixing a shaky lectern.

Upgrade Your Event Management Skills with Podium Pros

Mastering lectern etiquette is an invaluable skill for event managers. It not only ensures smoother operations but also contributes to the overall success of your event. However, the first step always begins with selecting the perfect lectern. Whether aluminum, acrylic, wood or an accessible design, Podium Pros offers a wide range of high-quality lecterns to match your specific needs.

Ready to take your event management skills to the next level? Contact Podium Pros today. Our team is ready to assist you in finding the perfect lectern that will complement your event’s aesthetic, cater to your speakers’ needs, and make your event a resounding success. Don’t settle for less; partner with Podium Pros and elevate your events like never before.


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