You've probably listened to speakers who stood on a raised platform, or watched the winners in sports competitions step up onto a platform to accept their awards. The platform they're standing on is called a rostrum.
Rostrum, originally "animal snout or bird's beak" in Latin, has a back-and-forth history. The word came to be used for the battering beak at a warship’s bow. The ancient Romans used beaks from captured ships to decorate a platform from which orators could speak, called the rostra, the plural of rostrum. In the mid-17th century, rostrum came to mean a platform for speeches, performances, or receiving awards. By the way, the plural of rostrum is still rostra.