What do you call the furniture in front of which a speaker talks? This furniture is also found in university and allows a professor to give a presentation to the class. What do you call this furniture?

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    One usually speaks from behind a lectern, as in the picture you have included – not from in front of it! It's also worth noting that you will often see/hear a lectern incorrectly referred to as a "podium." (A podium is actually a low platform on which the speaker stands.) In the US, in fact, I think I hear lecterns called "podiums" more often than I hear them called "lecterns," and this usage of "podium" is included in some dictionaries. You should avoid using it but be prepared to encounter it.
    – Nanigashi
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 1:27

2 Answers 2


It's a lectern usually on a podium.

a tall stand with a sloping top to hold a book or notes, from which someone, typically a preacher or lecturer, can read while standing up.

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    It's a lectern (= place you read from). The speaker is standing on a podium (= place where you stand).
    – JeremyC
    Commented Jun 30, 2019 at 22:02

As Shin says in this answer, it is a lectern. However, in some settings, it is also informally called a "podium," though that word traditionally referred to a raised dais where speakers stood (and not the stand on which they placed their notes). While some may argue that this usage is technically incorrect, it seems to be growing increasingly common in academic and political settings, even where there is not a dais.

In a church, the term "podium" is rarely used, but the primary lectern is often referred to as the "pulpit," a term that traditionally refers to another architectural feature, the small raised box where a preacher or priest would stand to speak that provided convenient acoustics for projecting to the entire space. With the advent of microphones and digital amplification, many newer churches forgo the traditional pulpit, thus the term has shifted from referring to the box to referring to the stand that used to be in the box.

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