I shouldn’t need to explain this. But it has come to my attention that this may not come naturally to everyone. So allow me to break down the art of decent dialogue.
Step 1: Write your message.
Now stop! Don’t click that Send button!
Step 2: Read your message back to yourself.
Are the words in the right order? Are they spelled correctly? If you actually say your message out loud and pronounce everything exactly as written, do you sound like you have some sort of speech impediment? If you have written in English, would someone mistake you for not being a native English speaker? Also, don’t forget to check on your punctuation. Remember how important commas can be! (“How are you, sexy?” vs “How are you sexy?”)
Step 3: Consider the person you are talking to.
How do you know the person you are speaking to? Are they a complete stranger? Are they a close friend? Do they have the appropriate background knowledge to understand what you are trying to say?
Step 4: Consider the flow of the conversation up to this point.
A good conversation can be thought of as a single thought-stream shared between multiple people. Each time someone speaks, what they say should follow logically from what the previous person has said. If applicable, re-read the message you are responding to, then read your message. Does your response make sense?
Step 5: Edit and clarify.
First, it’s important to understand your goal. A conversation, by definition, is “the informal exchange of ideas by spoken (or written) words”.
The previous 3 steps will reveal how you should edit your message. Remember your goal! Clarify your message as necessary to ensure that the other person will receive the same message that you are intending to send.
Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5.
Do this until you no longer sound like a dumbass.
Step 7: Now you may click Send.
Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?