Just back from some engagements last week and thought I’d pass this funny little tale along.
I’ve got a few A/V requirements when I present, notably that I like my notebook right at the lectern with me, and that I like the podium (stage/riser) to be free of anything else like chairs, tables, and so on. I tend to move around a lot when I speak, so this helps make sure I don’t faceplant (which, amazingly, hasn’t yet happened in 13 years of professional speaking).
Fast forward to the evening before my presentation. I’m at the event’s reception, meeting the delegates and sponsors, and up walks my client. We introduce each other, go over a couple of last-minute details, and then she leans in and asks, very politely: “Um, so we were able to get you a clear podium, but I wasn’t sure why you needed one?”
I told her that I move around a lot and would just prefer that there’s enough room up there for me to wander. She gets this blank look on her face, then one of those “Oh-my-god-I-completely-misunderstood” looks on her faces.
Turns out, she thought a “podium” was something you stand behind (actually, that’s called a lectern), not something you stand on.
And this was the result.