Many folks use the words “podium” and “lectern” interchangeably when talking about public speaking and business presentations. The two words actually refer to two very different things.
A podium is a small platform on a stage. You stand on a podium. A lectern is the piece of furniture that often supports a microphone and usually has space for a speaker to place his or her notes. You stand at a lectern.
This isn’t a grammar website, but hey, we thought anyone interested in public speaking would want to know the difference. And now you do.
By Julie Solomon
CMO, CCS Presentation Systems Guest Blogger
As the Chief Marketing Officer of one of the largest audio-visual integration companies in the country, I am always asked to make recommendations and offer guidance for business presenters and other speakers on what they should use for their presentations.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You are scheduled to give a business presentation at a new location and you are sweating the technology. How early do you need to get there to make sure everything works? Will your laptop connect? Do you have the cables you need? What about internet access on their network?
My best advice is this: Choose the right software and you don’t need to panic anymore.
Simply by jumping on the internet from the room’s in-house computer you can: easily open, deliver and save presentations anywhere, from any device — including Chromebooks and iPads; connect your audience’s devices to your presentation to get them engaged, contribute ideas and answer questions; gather live feedback; and so much more.
It all starts back at your home or office when you use the SMART Notebook software to build your presentation. A subscription lets you install SLS on up to four computers. Choose from over 7,000 learning objects in Gallery Essentials to enhance your presentation, including images, backgrounds, dynamic files, video and audio content. You can even search for and embed YouTube videos directly by opening the YouTube add-on. You can also include assessment questions through SMART Response that will track participants’ answers and a myriad of other exciting, interactive features all rolled up in one software suite.
‘Now, you have the ability to make your presentations as dynamic and innovative as you are.’
If you are presenting in a location that has a touch display, you can really show off. Use hand gestures to zoom, pan, flick, and swipe. Scale objects or pages, flick an object or swipe between pages. You also can touch the interactive display to shake objects to quickly group and ungroup them. Use a variety of different tools, including pens and paintbrush, to create and emphasize, draw in any color and even convert handwriting to text or calligraphy.
The days of death by PowerPoint are over! Now, you have the ability to make your presentations as dynamic and innovative as you are. To quickly learn the software and how to revise and expand your existing presentations, reach out to our local team of professional trainers. You can attend a workshop at our headquarters in Scottsdale or make arrangements to work with them one-on-one.
ABOUT OUT GUEST BLOGGER
Julie Solomon, Chief Marketing Officer at CCS Presentation Systems in Scottsdale, manages all marketing and training activities for CCS Southwest and oversees national brand marketing for CCS locations across the US. In addition, she is responsible for fostering relationships with audio/visual vendors and new corporate and education customers.
ABOUT CCS PRESENTATIONS
One of the largest groups of audio/video integration companies in the country, CCS Presentation Systems Inc. provides integration, installation, training, and maintenance of audio-video equipment to businesses, schools, and government clients. Products include LCD/LED large format displays, interactive collaboration tools, digital projectors, digital signage, audio systems, room control and more. CCS is the preferred supplier to the Education, Corporate, Government, and Non-Profit markets, boasting more than 350 employees in 13 states, with annual revenue in excess of $115 million. Phone: 480-348-0100
A lectern is good place to hold notes, hide a small bottle of water, and support a laptop and a microphone. It is not a crutch, a leaning post or something to hide behind. Holding on to a lectern with a white-knuckle grip tells an audience you are nervous and such a posture will prevent you from gesturing naturally.
As we said in Public Speaking Tip #40, a lectern can come between you and your audience and thus lessen your ability to connect with them as well as you might. But, if you must speak from a lectern, here’s what you should do: Take a step back and stand straight with both feet firmly on the ground.
Stepping back from a lectern will allow you to gesture better, have more energy in your presentation and engage your audience more fully.
In my 20-year career working at six major corporations, I witnessed many people who were passed over for promotions. Many found their ideas were not taken seriously. They just didn’t seem like “management material.” Most of them had the knowledge they needed to do the job. So why didn’t they advance in their careers? Answer: the fear of public speaking. They lacked the confidence to speak up and the communication skills to stand out, and it cost them.
Conversely, I’ve seen people who were very good talkers but didn’t necessarily have as much knowledge as others on their work teams. They often times were taken more seriously and got promotions they perhaps didn’t deserve. Ideally, those who advance in life should be good communicators and know what the heck they are talking about.
Don’t let fear paralyze your career. Before you can gain the confidence to speak and learn the skills to stand out in this highly competitive world, you have to first put fear in your rear view mirror.
You can begin to eliminate your fears of public speaking long before you step to the front of the room to deliver your business presentation or speech. You can take steps in the preparation phase that will reduce stress, anxiety and your fears of failure.
Preparing for Your Presentation
A speech or presentation begins as soon as you accept the assignment. That’s when you begin to do your audience analysis, content development and rehearsals.
Practice, practice, practice! There is no substitute. Practice aloud. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of your friends or family. Record yourself. Have someone else read your speech to you.
Memorize your outline, not your speech. This will allow you to speak more authentically and appear to be more credible.
Believe at least one thing in your speech will be meaningful to at least one person in the audience. That’s not a high hurdle. But if you do not believe that with all your heart then you have two choices: rewrite your speech until you do believe it or stay home.
Make a packing list so you don’t forget handouts, visual aids, etc.
If you have presentation materials, scripts, or any technology, have a backup plan. Technology can and will fail.
Come prepared with a small bottle of room temperature water and throat drops. Keep them handy while you’re speaking. A coughing fit can ruin a presentation.
Remove coins, keys, etc. from your pockets. If you fidget with a ring or watch when you’re nervous, remove the distraction.
The more prepared you are, the less fearful you will be. We will look at additional steps to overcome public speaking fears future posts. So, don’t be afraid to check back frequently!