One thing a chairperson can easily do at a conference do make them more engaging and interactive is to allow the participants to have a short conversation with each other after a speaker has finished their talk but before entering the Q&A.
Here is a short video of people doing this at the Ark Groups KC UK Conference in London in June 2007.
It works amazingly well.
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If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the
or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on
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