Lecterns are there to aid your presentation. Depending on how you interpret that, it’s either a good or a bad thing.
Like plenty of presentation aids, lecterns are criticized for hindering the speaker’s presence.
It can be likened to a shield that protects you during your pitch.
But it can also be a cumbersome tool that ends up reducing audience engagement.
That said, how lecterns affect you depends on how you choose to use it.
Don’t make it a safety blanket. Leverage your pitch with it instead.
One of the key purposes of a lectern is to exert authority and project confidence.
It’s commonly found in commencement addresses and public speeches by politicians where formality and solemnity are required.
Lecterns let speakers distinguish themselves as a center of focus, making it easier to command respect and attention.
However, distinguishing yourself from the audience becomes the problem in a pitch that requires connecting with your listeners.
Having something that physically separates you from your prospects doesn’t leave enough space to establish your presence through body language.
Although they free your hands by holding up your notes for you, lecterns may make you too focused on your script.
This prevents you from establishing eye contact, defeating the purpose of displaying confidence.
Some presenters also tend to grip the sides of the lectern as a sign of anxiety.
Instead of doing these, use the lectern to gently rest your hands.
Occasionally look down on your notes, but don’t forget to look back up and deliver to your audience, rather than through them.
While it hides some of your presentation habits, staying behind a lectern will definitely bring to light others.
Move away from the lectern and take the spotlight.
Learn how to use this tricky presentation aid to your advantage through our SlideGenius infographic below: