Today’s invention is a microphone to be used in the Q&A section of conference meetings.
It is equipped with a simple timer, so that the chairperson can set the interval for which each questioner can speak. This is publicly announced beforehand.
The chairperson may also set the guest responder’s microphone for a different, but still limited, duration.
In this way, the usual self-promotional speechmaking or unfocussed waffling is strictly limited and many more people get to ask questions and receive relevant, pithy answers.
It should be possible to have the microphone emit a warning beep before it stops working each time.