A few considerations when purchasing your next lectern.

Whether you’re working in a corporate setting, an education environment or in a church, communication is the common currency. Putting an individual in front of a group of people is the most basic form of mass communication and goes back thousands of years. But the problem of how best to make the podium or lectern support a message has been debated ever since. Corporate, education, church — all of these are presentation venues for groups of various sizes and purposes. The right presentation equipment, including appropriate lecterns, sound systems, and other presentation tools, provides the foundation for effective communication in any of these settings.

Public speakers have used lecterns for centuries. In years past, an imposing lectern enhanced any speaker’s image as a voice of authority, along with providing a place to set down notes and a glass of water. Today, however, the descendants of the traditional lectern deliver a host of options that greatly expand the range of aesthetic and practical possibilities. There’s no need to settle for “one size fits all” — with so many choices available, administrators, educators and pastors can select specific lecterns that perfectly fit the diverse functions within their respective institutions. In addition, lecterns come in an expansive range of design styles to enhance any décor with a high degree of customisation.

Lecture Halls: A well-chosen lectern can be an essential classroom tool. For large auditorium settings, the best lecterns will incorporate multimedia connectivity to give the speaker easy access to video and audio controls, as well as access to room control of lights, installed projectors and integrator audio systems, usually in the form of touchscreens. Multimedia features do not have to drive style choices, however. High-tech options can be included in a wide range of furniture styles, from traditionally formal to sleekly modern. Choose a lectern that complements the style of the lecture hall it’s going to be used in.

Conference Rooms: Small-room presentations frequently require the same level of media support as a lecture hall speech, but the speaker often needs to manage multiple different types of equipment to keep information flowing. Thus, space constraints play a pivotal role in the selection of lecterns for conference rooms. When projectors and other devices are needed, a mobile computer cart/lectern combination is an efficient choice that can easily move from room to room. These types of lecterns can also take the form of:

Multimedia Centers: Public speakers today rely heavily on evolving technology to help get their message across, and lecterns have evolved to accommodate multiple devices including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and document cameras. All used to relay graphical and other information, which then must be clearly projected for viewing by the audience. Sound systems also play a vital role in larger rooms, carrying the speaker’s voice to the far reaches of the audience. Features to look for include dedicated shelving, lockable storage, and integrated power and other outlets to simplify connections. Tabletop lecterns also play a versatile role, serving the functions of space efficiency and mobility. Some tabletop units include full-featured sound systems for great presentation delivery in a portable package. For occasional use, some tabletop lecterns can even be folded, collapsed, and stored flat.

Concierge/Valet Stands: An attractive, weatherproof lectern provides a secure point of contact for arriving visitors and guests. Highly durable lecterns in polyethylene are available in a range of colours, combining an attractive appearance with great practicality. Lockable storage, easy mobility, and customized logos are all valuable assets to consider for a concierge desk or valet stand.

Chapels: An appealing lectern enhances the quiet dignity of your facility’s sanctuary while providing presentation support for services. In churches, separate lecterns allow ancillary areas to become ad hoc worship spaces. As a focal point of the chapel, the lectern should match the overall décor of the space. Elegant lecterns are available in many varied materials, from solid wood to clear acrylic. If the chapel activities require sound amplification, look for lecterns with discreet built-in speakers or with connectivity to established house systems.

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