When I joined Toastmasters, I noticed many people were ribbing other Toastmasters for calling the speaker notes stand a podium. It is called a lectern. The podium is the elevated stage a speaker stands upon to give a speech in front of an audience.
Why is this important?
1. Language accuracy as a speaker is important. Often a speaker is viewed in an elevated way; more important because the speaker is at the front of the room. Using the correct terminology is good speaker practice, for speaking and for talking about speaking.
2. Speaking venue coordinators use specific terms for specific equipment. If you ask for a podium, you will get a stage. If you ask for a lectern, you will get a speaker stand.
3. Clarity. When you use the correct terminology every time, you will not only be understood by all who are listening, but the instructions you give will be clear. In Toastmasters, the lectern is never to be left empty. Calling the the next speaker or functionary to the lectern, not only tells them where to come, but reinforces the correct usage of the equipment, subtly.