Configure the terminal to match the serial parameters. The data bits, parity bits and stop bits must match. If a modern "smart" modem is used then the bit speeds need not match. If a dumb modem or a null modem cable is used then the bit speeds must match.
Set CTS/RTS handshaking on, DTR/DSR handshaking off and XON/XOFF handshaking off. Your equipment may call CTS/RTS handshaking or DTR/DSR handshaking "hardware handshaking" and may call XON/XOFF handshaking "software handshaking".
Set automatic line wrapping on. This allows all of a long console message to be read.
Set the received end of line characters to CR LF (carriage return then line feed). Set the transmitted end of line characters to just CR (carriage return).
If you are using a terminal emulator then it is best to choose to emulate the popular DEC VT100 or VT102 terminal. Later terminals in the DEC VT range are compatible with the VT100. If this terminal is not available then try to emulate another terminal that implements ANSI X3.64-1979 Additional Controls for Use with American National Standard Code for Information Interchange (or its successor ISO/IEC 6429:1992 ISO Information technology — Control functions for coded character sets). For example, many emulators have a terminal called ANSI BBS which uses the IBM PC character set, the 16 IBM PC colors, a 80 column by 25 line screen and a selection of X3.64-1979 control sequences.
See the Text-Terminal-HOWTO for much more information on configuring terminals.