Podiums in the 21st Century

What are podiums?

Podiums are often confused with lecterns. The word podium is a Greek word meaning foot. Podiums are raised platforms which enable something to be higher than something else. For example, the Pantheon in Greece sits on a huge podium to elevate it higher than ground level, with 7 steps needed to get inside of the building. A podium can be used by a public speaker so the audience can see them, or a conductor of an orchestra uses one so the players can see their instructions easily.

What is a lectern podium?

A lectern is simply a reading desk or stand. It is often used by religious people giving talks to their congregation, or lecturers giving talks or demonstrations. A lectern podium is a commonly misused term but just means a reading desk that is raised above the audience.

What is a pulpit?

A pulpit is similar to a lectern podium. In fact, where a lectern can be used anywhere, a pulpit is a term purely for religious lecterns. They can be simple, ornate, traditional, indoors, outdoors…. anywhere where religious readings take place. A pulpit is one of the most important things in a church and some date back many years with a fascinating history.

Who uses a podium?

Podiums can be used by anyone. School staff may use a podium when holding assemblies, politicians favour these for carrying out public speeches and of course there is normally a dancing podium where dancers can be seen across the nightclub.

Club DJs seem to work from podiums now. Years ago DJs would blend into the background and let the music do the talking, but many celebrity DJs have emerged and clubbers pay specifically to see them DJ so by using a podium, they can work and be part of the club scene.


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