Have you ever seen a stage without a podium? Likely not. And like most moths drawn to the light, most speakers are drawn to the podium. As speakers, facilitators, trainers, and presenters, you have to ensure you are creating the best possible experience for your audience and for you.
There are five main reasons not to stand behind the podium. They…
- Create a physical and psychological barrier between you and your audience
- Force you to remain in one spot – behind the podium
- Block most of your body and therefore block your body language (anyone below six feet becomes a literal talking head. Ask for a riser or step stool)
- Are hand-arm magnets, with most speakers leaning and holding onto the sides (with some holding on so tightly, their knuckles are white)
- Minimize your ability to move around, minimizing your ability to connect and engage with your audience members
You should just say “No!” to the podium.
Speakers and Trainers here at The Chief Storyteller® simply ignore it if it cannot be moved.
Well in advance of your presentation or training, coordinate with the event planning team to:
- Remove/move the podium
- Have a lavaliere (preferred) or hand-held microphone available for you
- Have a riser/step stool available if it cannot be moved
A couple of notes to consider:
- If you are speaking overseas, you should likely speak behind the podium as it might be more culturally/tradition-wise better. Then consider, moving around the stage area once or twice.
- If you know you must use it, practice then behind it. Get specific feedback from trusted colleagues on your voice, body language, and voice
Did you know? What we commonly call the podium, is actually a lectern? And what we stand on when speaking, is actually a podium? Read the blog post
Photography Source (Left to Right): 1 Denon, 2 Oklahoma Sound, 3 Amplivox, 4 Amplivox