A podium is a slightly raised platform that a public speaker or conductor stands on so that he may be seen. A podium is also a low rise which functions as a pedestal or foundation. The terms "podium" and "lectern" are sometimes used interchangeably but are actually two different things. A podium is the platform that a speaker or politician stands on while speaking, while a lectern is the stand he uses to hold his notes. A microphone may also be attached to the lectern.
Strictly speaking, a podium is a raised platform on which you stand to give a speech; the piece of furniture on which you place your notes and behind which you stand is a lectern.