If you’ve ever given a speech or lecture, you more than likely have used a stand called a lectern as a place to lay your papers or notes. However, you probably didn’t refer to the stand as a lectern. Like most people, you probably called it a podium. But a podium is actually a raised platform used to stand upon when speaking in front of a group. Remember that you stand behind a lectern, while you stand on a podium.
If you are wondering why one would differentiate between these two words, consider the origin of the word podium. It is a Latin word derived from the Greek word podion, a form of
pous or podos, meaning foot. Aha! By looking at the derivative of the word, it becomes clear why a podium is something that is stood upon–its root means foot.