When you hear that a good impression is a lasting impression, you will also be reminded that it is the first impressions that leaves a lasting reminder.

Lectern on stage

Presentation is everything and it is not only the appearance and deportment of the speaker at an event that will leave the attendees thinking about the experience. The immediate environment will also have an impact on how successful the speech or presentation was.

There is nothing worse than trying to pay attention to an important speech with a lot of noise in the background. In the same vein, a speaker needs to look like they belong where they are. Standing up and speaking without a focal point will lose a significant part of the audience. A lectern defines the focal point even before the speaker rises to deliver his speech.

Focal Point

When entering a building to listen to a presentation or speech, the presence of a lectern immediately adds the focal point. It also adds to the formality of the event giving it validity. A person that speaks from a lectern whether they are a theologian, educator or sales person speaks with an air of authority. The lectern reinforces this authority.

Lecterns are not just another piece of furniture. They are furniture that define the environment in which they are found. Rarely found in a residential setting, you won’t expect to find one in a living room or a bedroom.


There is hardly a school, place of worship, academy or formal public speaking seating without one. But there is more to public speaking furniture that simply having a big wooden box to stand on or in front of. The design and materials of the lectern will also determine the ambience of the room or environment in which the speech is being made.

It is important to remember that any occasion that requires a speaker may take place anywhere. Often, we stereotype speaking events as occasions that take place in a prepared environment such as on a stage at school or in a training room in an office block, however speaking events happen everywhere.


Political rallies, events to mark a movement or a Memorial Day, will all take place outside and indeed in the same way that an audience in an enclosed space needs a focal point. All the more so that the audience in an open one does too.

Lecterns must be designed and manufactured to last in the environments in which they serve their purpose. For this reason, there may occasions when a wooden lectern is not appropriate. Outdoor events will mean exposure to fluctuating temperatures, wind and damp and well as possible scorching heat. That’s the wear and tear from the natural elements. The human element also involves plenty of banging and bumping too, so particularly for the lectern that is going to spend some time outside durability should be a primary consideration.

Practical considerations

Those that don’t stand up to speak in public often can be forgiven for thinking that its only purpose is a point of focus, but there are practical considerations for a lectern too. All day events will require a lectern where notes, speeches and cards can be stored, and so with an open front a series of shelves can be installed.

Access to audio-visual equipment may be required and so the lectern may require a design that incorporates cables and the facility to install a microphone.

Typically places of worship have to provide accessibility to all people and so their pulpit or lectern requires somewhere to safely turn the heating loop on for those with hearing aids. A well designed lectern of pulpit will make this possible.


Of course, since the lectern is a focal point, branding should not be forgotten. For companies that provide outsourcing or in fact outsource their speakers maintaining visibility is key. Good lectern manufacture will include the opportunity for branding that is appropriate to the company’s culture. In different situations the branding may differ, in some cases being made from acrylic and others from metal or polystyrene.

Important design features will depend on the needs of the users. In some cases, a lectern on wheels is exceptionally useful. This kind of practical application is well applied in medical lectures that may occur at different places in a teaching hospital environment or even in a school that holds multiple assemblies to accommodate different age groups.


Whether you need to find a lectern that is lightweight and easy to move, or will remain in situ but needs to be hard wearing while maintaining the professional image of the organisation it serves, remember to consider everything from its portability, to the needs of those that will use it. A well built lectern can serve more than one generation when built for purpose and well looked after.

Crowd black and white pic