I tend to lack coherence and get stumble when talking in thoughtful topics. Unless I really take note, cat always got my tongue, even thought I know what to say. My writing is, nonetheless, not having that problem.

Is it on-topic here? Since most thoughtful topics I meet are in academic setting, I think that asking this question on Academia is on-topic. But I'm afraid that it may be considered to be a boat programming question.

Example: say I need to talk about game theory to persuade a speaker. I have read about it, and I know that to successfully persuade them, I need to use point a and b. When I thinking about what to talk in my head, both a and b are thought carefully enough to the point that I believe that they will work. However, when I don't take note and get straight to speak, cat got my tongue and eventually point a is spoken in a way that it's hard to understand, and I completely forgot point b.

This is the extreme case, I not always get to this level of this problem. But it persists.

I have asked this on the big Meta, and it seems that Academia is my only choice. The body of question is the same so you can skip to the answer.

2 Answers 2


There have been a couple questions about speaking on the site (for instance, here and here). I don't think, however, that any question regarding your proposed example is really applicable. The common element of the speaking questions that have been asked before is that they are either reference requests for resources to use (or point others towards) when learning the language, or are specifically about how to communicate in academic presentations.

Otherwise, it's a not-well-defined topic that doesn't really fit the site or the audience. Even in this meta post, you haven't really been able to conceptualize what the question you want to ask is. Basically, it boils down to something like "How do I communicate what I think better?", which is an incredibly broad and impossible-to-answer question. Even if you could get a reasonable question out of it, it becomes a pretty clear case of boat programming to me. Communication is essential to a lot more than academia, and unless the question involves communicating in specific academic situations I don't think it would be on-topic.

Ultimately, the best advice I can give you is to work on your English, practice thinking and speaking, and continue to familiarize yourself with the topics. Working on your writing will help as well, you have very good English for a non-native speaker, but there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of clarity and structure.

  • I wonder why you consider the second linked question would be a boat programming question? I would ask a question similar to that
    – Ooker
    Dec 23, 2015 at 8:05

Academic communications, including speaking, are most certainly on-topic at this site. The challenge is making an answerable question out of your concerns.

For example, what you have expressed above is not quite answerable. My key questions would be:

  • What is the context of the communication? Informal setting? Planned discussion? Prepared talk? These strongly affect the answers you might get.
  • What exactly is the help you want? Are you wanting to know how to prevent the problem, how to recover from it, how serious it is, something else entirely?

In short: ask away, refine as best you can, and be prepared to refine further in response to "unclear what you're asking"

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