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.

Definitions of rostrum
  1. noun
    a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it
    synonyms: ambo, dais, podium, pulpit, soapbox, stump
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    type of:
    a raised horizontal surface
  2. noun
    beaklike projection of the anterior part of the head of certain insects such as e.g. weevils
    synonyms: snout
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    type of:
    nose, olfactory organ
    the organ of smell and entrance to the respiratory tract; the prominent part of the face of man or other mammals
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