A lectern is good place to hold notes, hide a small bottle of water, and support a laptop and a microphone. It is not a crutch, a leaning post or something to hide behind. Holding on to a lectern with a white-knuckle grip tells an audience you are nervous and such a posture will prevent you from gesturing naturally.
As we said in Public Speaking Tip #40, a lectern can come between you and your audience and thus lessen your ability to connect with them as well as you might. But, if you must speak from a lectern, here’s what you should do: Take a step back and stand straight with both feet firmly on the ground.
Stepping back from a lectern will allow you to gesture better, have more energy in your presentation and engage your audience more fully.