What Does OT Mean

Off topic or OT is a popular slang in the internet days. In indicates something that is irrelevant or unrelated to the topic that is currently being talked about. When an off topic commentary is being thrown into a cohesive banter or conversation, the result is an awkward or stunted conversation. There will be a discontinuity of conversation which may cause an ambiguity.

The Sample Cases of Being off Topic

Being off topic can happen to anyone who loses focus on the now. It can happen in formal and informal social setting. The effect of being off topic during these situations may vary as well.

As an example, members of a forum is currently discussing about cars with V8 engine. Without preamble, one member makes commentary about a new restaurant in town. That moment on, you know that the conversation about car will not be picked up again since the off topic commentary is being brought up. The other members of this forum is likely to feel confused

Off topic can also happen in formal setting. When someone is doing a presentation in front of people, there is a tendency to feel nervous. One coping mechanism to that nervousness is rambling. When the person rambles in presentation, there is a big chance that they will end up going off topic. In this case, the audience will feel disoriented and disconnected from the presentation. The presentation is going to lose its effectiveness then.

How to Avoid Being Off Topic


1.    Utilizing Prompter as Guideline

This is considered necessary in presentations. Many people are creating prompters to be brought into the stage during the presentation. There are many formats of prompters: digital slide, presentation manuscript, cue cards, and many others. Some people may choose to read the entire presentation. The most engaging presentation is a presentation that’s not monotone.

2.    Focusing on Current Topic

Another way to avoid being off topic is focusing on every conversation you are in. Off topic is caused by losing focus during a conversation (offline or online) or presentation, but without an effort to get right back track. Before you contribute to the discussion after zoning out, it will be better to listen first to what others say so you get the gist of current topic.

3.    Asking About Topic You Don’t Understand

Sometimes being off topic is also caused by misunderstanding. Other people in the conversation may share similar understanding of one particular topic. However, you may not think similarly about that topic. There is no shame in being honest about your lack of understanding.