By Louis Desrosiers
In a church, the podium will remain the centerpiece of most events. One should take care when settling up with a podium. This piece of furniture is not ordinary. That’s because it is closely involved in the message you want to convey.
They say “clothes do not make the man.” Although this is true, in the world of communication, when it is time to deliver a message, appearances are crucial. Clothes do make the man, and, in this case, the podium makes the man. The look of the podium is important. It must be classy enough, bring respect, give a sense of dignity, and convey harmony.
Although the message could have its origins dating 2,000 years ago, it is still modern and is still delivered in a modern world. It resonates in the hearts of everyone today, with today’s preoccupations, in today’s world. In its supporting role, the podium will display the modernity of the messages, will confirm, anchor, and even boost that perception, making it real and true.
Help Stand Out
The podium is the centerpiece of any celebration; this is where everyone is looking. The podium should allow the pastor to stand out, not be a distraction. It must draw attention to the speaker, not distract the listener with frills and crafted details. Pure lines and a careful study of proportion will achieve this. The finely designed lines of a podium can focus the attention on the speaker. It has a crucial supporting role. The podium is the vase, the speaker is the bouquet, the words are the flowers.
You Just Can’t Hide
In today’s world, you can’t hide; one has to assume his responsibilities. It is not necessary anymore to only speak the truth. One must show it too, and the podium can go a long way in supporting that role by providing visual access to the speaker. A podium shouldn’t be so large that the speaker’s body is completely hidden from the front and all sides. It would lack its human scale and be a barrier that could be interpreted as being suspect.
A nicely designed podium can prove that you have nothing to hide. Psychologically, the podiums show that, since you can’t hide, you just can’t lie either.
The other benefit of a podium that doesn’t hide the speaker is that it creates visual proximity. This, in return, contributes to a higher sense of trust, to a stronger visual friendship.
Money Is No Luxury
There is no fun in wasting money. Some manufacturers offer ready-to-assemble podiums. Since the podium is not assembled, there is no assembly included in the price. The manufacturer does not charge for the labor of assembling the podium. This means that you get a higher value for the same price.
Shipping is also easier for the manufacturer, so you will save on this, as well. Stocking fees are also reduced for the manufacturer since he needs a smaller warehouse to stock the flat boxes. This all adds up and gives you access to a better value in the end.
If you shop around, you will see that some manufacturers offer deals on demos. Inquire about that possibility. Remember that a podium is seen from a distance and thus can probably accommodate some minor visual defects.
Is there a way on your podium to nicely display your church’s logo? Better yet, is there a way to display a temporary signature or the name of an event for just a few days? Check for podiums that let you show a permanent logo at the top of the lectern (where everyone looks). A removable panel or surface that would let you display an event’s signature or switch between logos would also be practical.
Preventing a Bible from Falling Off
You will probably put a Bible or a book on top of the lectern. A pencil stopper or a lip to prevent a book from falling off will then be a must. Better yet to have one that is large enough so you can have more than just a book, such as a book and a tablet or a book and a phone side by side.
The world around us changes all the time; so will your needs when using a podium. See if the podium manufacturer has a way to let you update it. Is it practical? How simple and user-friendly is it to make changes to the podium? What is the range of accessories available? Are there power outlets, USB outlets, HDMI connectors, a clock? Can you add a microphone? A reading lamp?
Little Steps to Make a Difference
A church is all about community, about people, about caring. You can go a step further when dealing with a podium manufacturer. For instance, you could check if it is a family-run business. Do you have easy access to real people? Can you talk to the founder of the company? Are there so many employees that you feel like just another client? Do you feel that your order makes a difference for them, that it is really appreciated?
Getting the Podium
Selecting a podium can take some time, as often a few people are involved in the process. But once a decision is made, you usually want to complete the transaction rapidly. Better to select manufacturers that have their podiums in stock and that can ship in a matter of a few days.
With Amazon, people now expect to have their stuff fast. The times have changed, and buying furniture online is no more a great deal. It is better to select manufacturers that have made the change, too. Are you really willing to place an order and wait for 6-8 weeks for it to be produced? This was the case 20, 10, or even 5 years ago, but not today.
Check for any shipping fees and hidden extra fees. Some manufacturers will charge shipping fees, while others won’t. Again, times have changed and again Amazon got us used to free shipping. So, don’t hesitate to shop around.
Delivery can also have some surprises and become a hassle. In some cases, you would have to deal with a truck and a pallet delivery. Some would require a dock or will charge for using a tailgate to deliver the podium at street level. Luckily, others use simple and efficient carriers like UPS, which is much more convenient.
Louis Desrosiers is a professional designer, co-founder, and president of Urbann, recently awarded Best Lectern & Podium Product Design & Manufacturer 2021 in North America. Urbann offers modern lecterns featuring a simple and user-friendly customization system, www.urbann.ca.