Updated: May 23, 2015

Podium and Lectern Reviews:

Present Yourself with the Best Podiums and Lecterns - Don't you hate when people say "their" when they mean "they're" or "your" when they mean "you're"? No? Some people do! Little grammar errors continually gnaw at people who know the difference, and if they don't correct you, they are biting they're tongues. (That "they're" was on purpose.) If you've never thought about it, it may come as a surprise that one of these common little grammar gaffes is the interchangeable use of "lectern" and "podium." Who would dare? A podium is clearly something you stand on, while a lectern is something you stand behind. If you're not one of those people to whom these types of errors is personally offensive, then you may not care about this at all. Either way, though, if you need a good lectern or podium, where do you look? What type of features do you want? What is a smart podium? How much do these things cost? Let's find out.
podium and lecterns


Why Use a Podium or a Lectern? - Whether you are giving a presentation at work or in front of a large audience, a podium or lectern can be very helpful in helping you remain organized, focused, and anchored. If you're a bundle of nerves before public speaking, a lectern or podium can help ground you, keep you connected to your material, or simply hide your shaking legs. Despite the grammatical pontificating above, most people do use lectern and podium interchangeably, and for our purposes, we will, too. A podium is technically something you stand on, not behind, but unless you're an Olympic athlete getting a medal, you don't strictly need to stand on anything. A lectern in its traditional sense will do just fine. It works for the President, after all. Here are the three broad categories of lecterns/podiums.

Tabletop. These are useful for panels and other such events because they simply sit on a table. A panelist can rise, speak at the tabletop lectern, and then return to his seat with no fuss or bother. *Floor. These are free-standing, and may be what most people think of when they think "podium." *Stackable. These are a hybrid of the tabletop and floor models. The free-standing lectern has a removable top which can be used as a tabletop lectern. This gives you more versatility and a bit of portability as well.

In addition to these options, many podiums and lecterns offer features including audio and presentation options, including interactive pens, display screens, and projectors, all of which are controlled by the speaker at the podium or lectern. It can be difficult to choose the best lectern simply because there are so many choices. Let's take a look at some of your options to give you a good starting point. You can browse the best selling lecterns and podiums here.


Best Podiums and Lecterns:

According to the ProjectorScreenStore, the most popular brands of podiums and lecterns include Balt, Anchor, Da-Lite, Hamilton, Luxor, Oklahoma Sound, and Paso. While you can surely find great quality in other brands, looking at these will give you a good idea of what you can get and what it will cost. Buzzillions reviewers chose the Oklahoma Sound Portable Presentation Lectern as their favorite lectern overall, loving it for its light weight, portability, durability, and style. The low price doesn't hurt either. This Oklahoma Sound Portable Presentation Lectern measures 30 inches for its panel, and 44 H x 16 L x 20 W inches. It is a great and compact lectern for offices, schools, conferences, and presentations that you have to take with you on the road. The top paper and book stop is large enough for all of your materials. Available in light oak, walnut, grey, medium oak, and mahogany, this is a great addition to any presentation. Another great aspect of the Oklahoma sound lectern is that it is not overwhelming. It won't dwarf you with its massive bulk or be off-putting to your listeners. It's sort of an everyman's type of lectern. You can find it for about $80. Another Buzzillions favorite is the Oklahoma Sound Full Floor Lectern, which is a bit larger and more traditional in its design, while remaining approachable and comfortable for speakers and audiences alike. This model is about $115 (see all Oklahoma lecterns here). Adding sound will cost you more, and high-end podiums and lecterns can cost thousands of dollars. A good choice in this bracket is the Paso Lektron Series 25W. This is a table top lectern that provides sound reinforcement for voice and/or music with clear, uniform coverage. It features a removable unidirectional dynamic microphone that can be used up to 15 feet away from the lectern, option for second microphone hook-up, direct connection to recording device, optional rechargeable battery, built-in battery charger when lectern is using AC power, anti-shock gooseneck microphone holder, 8-inch heavy duty speaker, mic/aux volume, speech filter, tone control, a formica laminate finish on a high density wood compound construction, and a molded front grill with acoustic cloth. All of that in a gorgeous light oak color finish. This is great for presentations that need a professional edge. Paso calls this their "economy" model; you can find it at vendors like the ProjectorScreenStore for about $540. Everything is smart today...cars, whiteboards, phones. Why not get yourself a smart podium as well? It really makes sense in today's digital media-friendly environment and the visual and audio options you are afforded can help turn an ordinary presentation into an extraordinary show. Oklahoma Sound makes a great line that you can check out on Amazon. For an updated twist on the traditional podium or lectern, or even a multimedia lectern, try the Smart Sympodium Interactive Pen Display. The range of options is phenomenal, as is the interaction you can expect between speaker and audience, whether a board room full of executives or a classroom full of kids. There are several different models; the ID370, for instance, which is projected onto a screen (both of which you'll need) offers an interactive screen so you can project presentations or lectures made in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications and make notes as you go. And if you have a particular stroke of genius, you can save your work as well. The applications are endless: send students notes, record sound with graphics, for difficult concepts, and most importantly, provide a dynamic and interesting presentation to engage your audience. The Smart Sympodium is a revolutionary product. These are sold through authorized dealers, which you can find for your area by visiting their website (http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Where+to+Buy/). Whether you want a smart podium or just a podium that makes you look smart, you can have what you need to make excellent presentations at any budget level. Look here for top rated podiums/lecterns. It doesn't matter if you stand on it or behind it; what matters is that your lectern or podium is a useful tool for your presentations and lectures.