How to Present with a Lectern? Don’t.

When you have to give an important talk, you are relieved to learn you’ll present with a lectern.  Not so fast!  Lecterns are good for holding your notes, but you need to make sure that you don’t get trapped behind the podium.  Here are some important things to remember about speaking from behind a lectern:

  1. Get out from behind the lectern whenever you can!  Wear a remote lavaliere microphone if possible so you can walk around the stage.  If you just stay behind the lectern, you will trap your energy and enthusiasm.
  2. Use slides instead of a written speech.  This way, you will be forced to look up and move away from the lectern more often.  If you have to use notes or a speech, mark places indicating to look up and push the papers up to the top edge of the lectern so it will be easier to make eye contact with the audience.
  3. Don’t grip the lectern.  If you take a step back from the lectern and don’t grip it, you will be able to gesture naturally and release your energy.  This will make you look and sound more dynamic.


Using a lectern can be tough. If you get caught behind it, it can decrease your enthusiasm and energy.  Use the above tips to help you lose the lectern and stay engaging!

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