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> and (I believe) also make the conversation more relevant for other participants.

I believe this is a crapshoot. Many times audience participation is more accurately described as "audience interruption and diversion". If you let them, a single audience member can easily derail a presentation in ways that all of the other audience members are not interested in.

Yes, a good lecturer knows (hopefully) how to realize that you're spending too much time on irrelevant topics, or that you won't get to all of the material you've planned to cover unless you move ahead. But it can sometimes be difficult to handle such people.

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