People have been standing at lecterns and delivering speeches, sermons, and presentations for hundreds of years. From the first time someone put their notes on a stand in front of a room of people until now, the humble lectern has come a very long way. Today, there are multimedia lecterns that yes, can hold your notes and a pointer but they can also do so much more than that. Here we will look at all the incredible technological feature you can get in a modern day, multimedia lectern.
Being heard is the number one thing you need to consider when presenting. If the audience cannot hear what you are saying, everything else will be lost. A multimedia lectern with a public address (PA) system is a great feature. Yes, many rooms that house lecterns have in-room PA systems but if they do not, a lectern that has one of its own is incredibly valuable. Make sure to consider the number of speakers as well as their power. You can check this by looking at the wattage of the amplifier.
Whether or not your multimedia lectern has PA capabilities, a great one will have a built-in microphone for sure. With a built-in mic, you have the option of using it with a built-in system or hooking it up to a smart or wired room to use that AV system. There are a few types of mics these podiums could have. A wired mic would be the cheapest option but also the least convenient. You may also see lecterns with gooseneck microphones. These are the long, skinny mics where its pole or “gooseneck” can be adjusted to comfortably fit speakers of different heights. Finally, you can find lecterns with wireless mics which offer the most convenience. These can be used on a stand, as a handheld unit or to pass around a crowd for audience questions and participation. If your lectern has this style mic it may also come with a lapel or LAV mic to clip to your shirt for ultimate hands-free convenience.
The types of ports or “hookups” your lectern has are also very important. Depending on what type of media you are using to aid in your presentation, you will want as many different data ports as possible. When you open the data port you will want to see power outlets, USB ports, HDMI ports, SD ports, Ethernet ports, VGA ports and any number of video format ports. The more of these access points the lectern includes the more things you will be able to do with it and the more versatile and valuable it becomes.
Recessed or Viewport Monitors
Aesthetics are an important part of any lectern as well. You do not necessarily want your audience staring at the back of your computer screen for the entire presentation. In these cases, having a recessed or viewpoint monitor is a great feature. Recessed monitors mean that the computer monitor is sun down into the top of the lectern. This will allow for your computer to be stable and at least partially hidden from the audience. A viewpoint monitor is a monitor built-in to the lectern underneath the top shelf that you can see through a clear screen. This is a very cool way to have a clean and streamlined style lectern without losing any of the functionality.
Similarly, to the PA compatibility feature, if the room you are in does not have some sort of display or projection screen, it is helpful to have one built-in to your multimedia lectern. Many units feature a presentation screen right on the front of the lectern. This will allow you to show slides, pictures or video right on the podium. If you do have a projection screen in the room though, the front display screen still will not be wasted. It is a great way to brand your lectern and display your logo during a speech.
There is any number of great, additional features you can get with a multimedia lectern. There are built-in clock timers that time speakers so you can stay on schedule. There are pull out shelves that can hold a laptop or any number of items without getting in the way of your screen. Many multimedia lecterns come with all kinds of internal shelf and storage configurations too. There are even ADA compatible sit or stand multimedia lecterns that are adjustable so people who need to sit or are in wheelchairs can present comfortably.