A typical mistake of many stage setups is that of hiding the speaker from the audience by adding (or not removing) obstacles between both. The most obvious obstacle on the podium is the lectern.
The TED team is famous for taking care of details that might seem minor but that have a huge impact in creating a positive atmosphere inside a conference room. During TED 2010 in Long Beach, California, the lectern is still there but it has made invisible by using a transparent material. The lectern still has a useful function, that of supporting computers or papers necessary to the speaker, but has disappeared as an obstacle in the line of vision that connects the attendees with the speaker.
Follow some photos from Jamie Oliver’s talk during TED 2010 (watch Jamie’s TED Prize wish presentation, it’s very good, inspiring and courageous too).
The effect is the same that Philippe Starck achieved when he designed the “ghost chairs” for Kartell (see photos).