Lectern Etiquette: 2 simple rules to become a connaisseur

  • by Louis Desrosiers

Knowing and applying lectern’s etiquette and protocol shows that you respect the audience. Here are two simple rules, overlooked by most, that will make you a distinguished connaisseur. 

1 Never leave the lectern without speaker or master of ceremonies

The arrival of the master of ceremonies at the lectern clearly indicates the start of the event and leaving the lectern (without being replaced by a speaker) marks the end of the event. A continued presence must be maintained at the lectern throughout the activity.

A lectern should never be empty, that is to say without speaker during an event. An empty stage is rather inappropriate and leaves an unpleasant feeling.

The master of ceremony awaits the guest at the lectern

The MC must remain at the lectern until the speaker, he has just invited to speak, arrives at his side. The MC, still standing at the podium, greets him and then leaves the place behind the lectern. 

The speaker waits for the master of ceremonies

Similarly, the lecturer that has concluded his address shall, after thanking the audience, wait for the master of ceremonies arrival at the lectern before leaving the stage. This is the time to thank the MC by shaking hands. It is important not to do it while the speaker and the MC cross somewhere on the stage or worse, while one of them is sitting.

2 Do not lean on the lectern

You may not use a lectern to support your weight or part of it. You can drop your notes on it, hold it lightly or use it to support the hands but make sure you keep your weight on your legs. It is obviously not cool to lean.


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