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Lecterns and Tables

A lectern is a small desk that usually sits on a podium or table where you can rest your presentation notes. It would not be unusual to find yourself speaking from behind a lectern if you were making a formal presentation. Besides the obvious advantage of having a place to rest your notes hidden away from your audience, the lectern can be a special comfort to less-experienced presenters, who may feel the need to be anchored to something while giving their presentation. Unfortunately, this same benefit when taken to the extreme can be a liability if presenters grasp the lectern so tightly that they look scared to let go.

An ordinary card table or a long conference table can serve as a lectern or podium. For informal presentations it’s often wise to ask for an appropriate size table to rest your notes, transparencies, handouts, and any other materials you’ll need during your presentation. Although not as impressive looking as a lectern, a table sometimes works better because it provides more room to spread notes and materials on and is less of a barrier between you and your audience. If needed, also arrange beforehand to have extra tables set up to put handouts, books, or other materials on.


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