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How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations, revised and expanded new edition, with a foreword by Richard St. John and an afterword by Simon Sinek by Jeremey Donovan

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CHAPTER 17

Using a Lectern

TIP 93: Use a lectern when you need to project authority.

Though rare on the TED stage, lecterns are neither purely good nor purely evil. Several outstanding speakers, including Chimamanda Adichie1 and Karen Thompson Walker2 used them. (As every commentator on this topic has done before me, I offer the gentle reminder that a podium is a stage you stand on and a lectern is a stand you speak behind.)

Let’s start by assuming that you have practiced your material and have your content and delivery solidly nailed. In that case, you are simply making a stylistic decision about whether or not to use a lectern. In most cases, the best choice is to avoid using one entirely because it creates a physical and psychological barrier ...

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