Definition and Functions of Lectern Vs Podium VS Pulpit

There are three different terms that are often used interchangeably. But actually, those words have different meanings. They are the lectern, podium, and pulpit. All of those words are often used when people are speaking in front of the public. Learn about pulpit vs lectern vs podium on this page.

By knowing the differences between those three words, you will know the best time to use every single word. Learn about the details of the pulpit, lectern, and podium first and what makes them different. And then you’ll understand when should you use each of them on different occasions.

Definition of Lectern Vs Podium Vs Pulpit

First of all, it is crucial to know the definition of pulpit, podium, and lectern. Though many people use those three words interchangeably, actually every single word comes with a different definition. Learn about the meanings of those words below.

1. Podium

Podium is a term for a raised platform where someone can stand on it and read the presentation he had prepared. This platform has some functions. Its main function is to help the audience see the speaker much more easily.

This elevated platform allows a person to stand on it. Speakers can put some things on top of the podium, such as a bottle of water, a microphone, and notes. The modern podium may also include visual elements like a presidential seal and also support audiovisual aids.

2. Lectern

And then there is a lectern. It is a stand that is designed to support reading materials like notes. This stand can also support laser points, drinks, and many other things. On a lectern, there may also be a microphone. Speakers will stand behind a lectern to give a presentation or read their work.

Many legal representatives, organizational leaders, and politicians stand behind this lectern when they are addressing the audience. Because of the similarity between the modern podium and the lectern, people are usually using both words interchangeably. Before learning the differences. Learn about the pulpit.

3. Pulpit

This one is an enclosed and raised platform where someone is going to stand on it when they are giving a presentation or reading their work. Usually, the pulpit has more ornate compared to the usual podium. Moreover, a pulpit usually includes the ornament of the lectern.

The pulpit is a term used in religious services or for areas where religious leaders are going to speak. People know the pulpit as a stand used by pastors and priests to deliver their sermons at the churches. Just like a lectern and podium, a pulpit also has a space for a microphone, water, and notes.

But the pulpit is bigger than the podium and lectern. Besides, the pulpit has a unique design, it surrounds the speaker, not only in front of the speaker.

Different Uses of Pulpit Vs Lectern Vs Podium

Now, since you have learned about the definition of podium, lectern, and pulpit, you need to know the different uses of each of them. This way, you’ll know the things that make them different and next time, you’ll know which word is the right one to describe the stand on public speaking.

1. The use of a podium

The main function of a podium is to raise people. For example, an orchestra conductor can stand on the podium just like many other public speakers. This is going to help the other instrument players to see the conductor easily while playing their instruments.

In sports, the podium is used to honor the three best competitors in the events. A tri-level podium can be found in the modern Olympics. Usually, the center has the highest platform and is designed to award the gold medalist. The one on its right is a little lower for the silver medalist.

And the left one has the lowest platform, it belongs to the bronze medalist. But now, people often use the word podium to describe a lectern.

2. The use of a lectern

To spot the differences between a lectern and a podium, you need to know the function of the lectern as well. This lectern is a reading desk and it has a slanted top. You can place your books or documents on top of a lectern since a lectern supports reading aloud.

Lecterns have adjustable slants and heights that are designed to facilitate eye contact while improving the speaker’s posture when he is facing the audience. People who read from the lectern is known as a lector. Usually, people use the lectern while standing.

3. The use of a pulpit

A pulpit is like a combination of a podium and a lectern. Its position is raised or higher than the surrounding floor. This design is to make sure the audience can hear and see the speaker much more clearly. To access the pulpit, a speaker can use the steps that usually are placed behind the pulpit.

The differences between the lectern vs podium vs pulpit above should be used properly. Usually, the pulpit is used in churches but you can also see the pulpit as the court witness box. The lectern and podium are totally different.