Friday, March 16, 2012
How many types of lecterns are there?
In a previous post about What are you standing on or behind? I suggested that there were at least four: floor or tabletop, and plain or with a built-in sound system (amplifier and speaker). There might be a lot more.
A plain floor lectern might be flanked by tables that could be used for other stuff like laptop computers or props. Floor lecterns are common in large spaces like auditoriums and ballrooms.
Plain tabletop lecterns are common in smaller spaces like classrooms or boardrooms. The one shown above is unusually clever - it can be flipped over to accommodate either shorter or taller speakers. Most tabletop lecterns are not adjustable, so a shorter speaker would have to stand beside them, or their hand gestures would be invisible.
Most floor lecterns aren’t adjustable either, but some simple ones with telescoping support tubes are.
Lecterns with built-in sound systems are both a blessing and a curse. They are easier to set up than a sound system with separate speaker boxes. You can’t walk directly in front of them while using a microphone without generating feedback.
Most speakers probably won’t need to purchase a personal lectern (perhaps with a built-in podium) from a door-to-door salesman, as shown in this cartoon.
If you do, than the lectern sales pitch might include them promoting other features, like Will It Float? I don’t think you need to consider that unless you speak on cruise ships, or at coastal venues with a risk of tsunamis. Have you ever had a speaker’s briefing including:
“In case of an emergency, your lectern can be used as a flotation device?”
Images of floor and tabletop lecterns came from Wikimedia Commons.