Podiums are a universally recognized symbol of power and authority. When a speaker stands behind a lectern, they are immediately considered more official, and their words are more highly regarded. That's why so many companies and politicians always speak from behind a carefully constructed stand inside their press room, helping them project the air of authority and knowledge that their customers and constituents want to see. With today's free market pricing, you don't have to belong to the rich and powerful in order to reap the benefits of podiums for yourself. Simply learn about the different options that are available, and you'll be able to find an affordable option that fits your needs.
Option 1: The Speaker's Lectern
If you are going to deliver a prolonged speech, it is difficult to beat this very basic style. The unit has a single base, leading up to a top part meant to hold speech materials, data, or whatever else you might require. This is typically one of the more inexpensive styles, because it is relatively simple to build. These podiums can be built from many materials, ranging from solid wood to laminate to plastic, metal, and even acrylic.
The classic, clean lines and low price typically attract buyers to this style. They are not known for their portability, and many are in fact not terribly portable at all because they cannot be deconstructed or folded up for transport. They shine when installed in a media room, or in one particular conference room where they won't need to be moved.
Option 2: Tabletop Podiums
The frequent traveler may choose the most inexpensive unit. This stand can be put on any table to turn it instantly into a staging ground for a speech or presentation. Because of the very small size, these units are typically very inexpensive and affordable. However, you must rely on the venue to provide you with a suitable table, and even so you might not achieve the total professional look that you are seeking.
Option 3: Mobile Platforms
There are many ways to make podiums more mobile, ranging from a collapsible, height-adjusting unit to an otherwise solid unit on wheels. If you operate a convention center or other venue and want the freedom to bring out the stand or tuck it away at will, mobile options merit your consideration. If you are an individual traveler, don't buy something with wheels, as it won't help you present on the road.
Option 4: Media Stands
Media stands offer much more than standard podiums. They are able to incorporate a wide variety of media, ranging from an LCD screen visible to the audience to units that incorporate a full blown sound system. You should discuss your exact needs with your technician before you purchase such a unit, as they commonly have particular hookups that need to be addressed.
Picking The Right Unit For You
The ultimate question to ask when choosing among the different podiums is 'how will I use it?' There are two main answers: With a tradeshow display, or without supporting materials. Introducing a tradeshow display distracts from the emphasis of the lectern, but provides incredibly valuable visual support for your words. If you will not have any kind of tradeshow display to assist, you will almost always benefit from the authority and presence that a stand provides. Other media are easily incorporated with a proper stand, ensuring a seamless blend between your presentation and your visuals. Incorporating a tradeshow display may be more work, but in the long run such a strong presentation can be worth it.