Difference Between Podium and Lectern

To be able to showcase your ability is a dream come true for anyone. It could be a lecture or a sports performance that can help us achieve our dream. When we achieve what we have spent years, a celebration is a must. In all the glory and fun of the moment, we tend to forget some special places that help us showcase our position. A lectern helps us deliver our speeches and also it is the same piece of furniture from where we get the announcement of the big achievement.

Podium vs Lectern

The main difference between a podium and a lectern is that a lectern is a piece of furniture that has a slanting surface and supports a mike for announcements whereas a podium is a piece of furniture that is used to raise anything to a certain height. A lectern and a podium are two different pieces of furniture with different features. During medal distribution in an Olympic event, winners stand on a piece of furniture that is nothing but a podium.

Podium vs Lectern

A podium is the piece of furniture that you usually stand on to receive the medal for your outstanding performance in a sports event. Its use however is not limited to a sports event as it can be used for other purposes. It can be made of concrete as well, as in the case of a building. In general, it finds its use to raise people or things to a certain height.

A lectern is a piece of furniture that is used to hold a mike for a speaker. It is also referred to as a reading desk. It has a slanting surface that supports the book or the document to be read. A lectern is used to deliver speeches and to make announcements. It is generally fixed on a position and is attached to some form of support. A lectern is very different from a podium although these two words are used interchangeably.

Comparison Table Between Podium and Lectern

Parameters of Comparison Podium Lectern
Usage It is used to raise people or things to a certain height. It is used to deliver a speech or read out something. 
Mobility It can be moved. It is immovable as it is fixed. 
Purpose It has a variety of purposes. It is used for academic purposes mostly. 
Definition It is a structure that helps people or things to rise to a certain height. It is a piece of furniture used to deliver a speech or make announcements. 
Feature It has no mike. It is fitted with a mike to speak. 

What is Podium?

Most sporting events honor their winners with medals. All the winners stand on a stand which is used to raise the winners to a certain height; the stand is called podium. It can be used to raise anything to a certain height. Podiums can also be at the base on which a house stands. It could be made of wood or concrete based on its use.

There is a very famous form of building made of wood called podium buildings. Podium buildings are so-called because the wooden structure stands on a concrete podium.

Maison Carree, a famous Roman temple stands on a podium. The lower portion of the temple is big support built to a certain height on which the entire temple stands. In Olympics, it was first used in the year of 1932. It was also used for the first time in 1930 in the commonwealth games (British Empire Games). In Olympics, the gold medal winner stands in the middle of the podium, which is slightly higher than the height at which the other two participants stand.

It is also used in motorsports to honor the winners. The podium structure is the same as that of the Olympic podium. In some sporting events such as F-1, the winners stand on the podium along with one member of the team.

What is Lectern?

A lectern is a piece of furniture that you usually see in a lecture hall or an announcement podium. In ancient times it was specifically used as a reading desk. A lectern has a slightly slanting surface that is meant to hold books or paper to read from. Modern Lecterns come with a mike on them that helps people use it to make announcements. It is a fixed structure lying on some kind of support. It is generally misunderstood with a podium.

Lecterns are an integral part of the academic world. it can be seen in every class of a higher-education institute. Lecterns in such environment are fitted with a mike and computers. It can also be fitted with recording systems to record lectures. It is generally fixed in one place from where the teacher or professor speaks.

Apart from academic usage, it can be found in different places such as churches. A lectern holds the bible in place and lessons are read from there. Lecterns are adorned pieces of furniture exclusively made of wood. It can be confused with a pulpit which is used for the purpose of sermons. Pulpits can, however, be distinguished from lecterns as lecterns are smaller in size.

Main Differences Between Podium and Lectern

  1. A podium is a structure used for the purpose of raising people or things to a given height, whereas a lectern is a piece of furniture used for speeches.
  2. A podium could be very large, as in the case of a building, whereas a lectern is a small structure.
  3. Podiums could be made of concrete or wood depending on their use, whereas a lectern is usually made of wood.
  4. A podium is used in the Olympics to honor the winners with their medals, whereas a lectern is used to give speeches and read out a piece of information to the masses.
  5. Podiums are not fitted with any kind of mike or recording systems, whereas lecterns are fitted with mike and recording systems.


Lectern and podium are two different words used interchangeably. But they differ from each other in many ways. Their structure and purpose are different. A podium is made of concrete or wood but lecterns are generally made of wood. In some places like a church, lecterns are used to hold the bible and are fixed in one place.

Podium can be seen in many sporting events such as the Olympics or formula-1 racing events. In such events, the winners stand on the top of the position which is raised to a certain height according to the medals the winners will receive. These misused terms were of great importance in past so, it is great to understand the distinction.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-0-387-77234-9_6
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01463376109385178

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