If you use the default settings for chat, you will miss a lot as it just scrolls past you. Here's how I deal with it, YMMV.
About a quarter of my screen is chat windows.
In the upper window is Kinchat and the coursera channel. Below that is /say and /emote. Everything else is in the lower window. If /emote is very busy, I may turn it off - also I always leave the World channel as it hurts my eyes.
Go here to see how to create new chat tabs, rename tabs and use filters to decide what goes in which tab.
Drag a tab out of the chat window to create a new window.
It's also possible to add timestamps, but these will be prepended to each chat item and create more clutter.
This really belongs in this thread, but I am not allowed to post there.