I am using this method more and more in lieu of traditional oral presentations where a group of students stands in front of a class to report on their group work project. Unless "presenting in front of a large audience" is the learning outcome that needs to be evaluated, I prefer to use the round table format, in particular for capstone evaluations that take place at the end of the semester.
In preparation, I divide the usually 10-12 groups into three time slots during our class time, so that each time slot sees 3-4 groups participate. The members only have to come to their assigned time slot. We set up the classroom so that the students sit around a round (well, oblong, in most cases) table.
The first 15 minutes, I ask the groups to share their project outcomes with each other in a brief and interesting manner so that their peers, who are not familiar with their work, can easily understand the scope of each respective project. The next 15 minutes, students are to ask each other questions and facilitate a discussion among themselves about their work. During the last 15 minutes, I facilitate questions that allow them to discuss their projects within the overall context of the course.
The benefits I enjoy the most is to see the students a lot more relaxed and at ease, than they would be if they had to stand up in front of 40 other of their peers and talk. I also hear every single student speak with confidence. And during the discussion session, every single student is engaged in asking questions and answering (normally, when you ask the classroom what questions they have, you only have a few hands go up, mostly from those students who participate on a regular basis anyway). Sometimes, I hear those students who normally don't participate speak in an animated way for the first time.
After each round table, I solicit feedback, and without fail, it is overwhelmingly positive. Students who normally don't speak up feel accomplished, everybody is more relaxed, and by discussing their projects, they further deepen their confidence and understanding of their own work.
The above picture was taken after one of my first round table discussions. I asked the students if it was OK to use this picture for my personal use on my website, and they were super excited, "please tell everyone to use this type of presentation format" they said.