Professional Style

Lectern vs. Podium

January 2014
Spot the Error

When Sal placed his speech onto the podium and glanced across the large audience, he began to sweat profusely.

Have you ever heard the phrase “step up to the podium”? Well, that tall piece of furniture that you use to hold your speech is not the podium; it’s a lectern. The podium is the raised platform on which you stand. So why don’t they say “step onto the podium”? It’s so confusing.

In the “speech” sentence above, Sal first stepped onto the podium and then placed his speech onto the lectern.

Here’s a way to remember the difference: college professors place their notes onto lecterns when they deliver lectures. Also, the pod- in podium means foot; when you step onto a podium, you use your feet.

~ Thank you Susan P. for the topic suggestion.

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