Interacting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to crafting effective and meaningful prompts. Prompts are essential in communication with AI models like ChatGPT and significantly influence the quality of generated responses. But how does one create the perfect prompt that delivers the desired results?
Recently, people often seem to perceive modern text AIs, also known as Large Language Models (LLM), as merely a plaything or that the results are unusable. However, my experience demonstrates that with the right prompt and proper instructions, impressive texts can be generated.
In this article, we provide you with ten valuable tips to optimize your prompts and fully tap into the potentials of ChatGPT. Our focus here is not just on technical aspects but also on strategies to enhance communication with AI.
1. Specify Your Desired Style
ChatGPT can write in a variety of styles, ranging from professional to casual. To adjust the style, simply write an introduction that dictates the desired style. This can also be more elaborate to provide a certain direction. Imagine working with a professional writer to whom you want to explain a style.
Example: "Write a formal business letter to a potential customer."
Or in more detail: "Compose a sophisticated, eloquent, and complex newspaper article on the following topic: ..."
A description like: "Compose a deeply emotional and familial birthday greeting to my aunt." works just as well.
2. Context and Abstraction
Explain and outline the abstract context in which the AI should generate text. Information about the target audience or persona can help further specify the style.
Example: "Imagine you are a historian in the 19th century writing about the Industrial Revolution."
Or to build upon the previous example: "You are an entrepreneur in the IT industry, writing a cold acquisition business letter to a potential customer. The customer is a craftsman who has been running a business with 10 employees for over 30 years and is deeply rooted in the Ruhr region." This provides some valuable details to be considered for targeting.
3. Avoid Ambiguous, Vague Statements
Precise and clear statements are key to effective prompts. Try to avoid vague requirements and general phrases. Example: Instead of "Write something about cats" you could ask: "Write a short informational article on caring for domestic cats."
In my experience, it's beneficial if you can code or understand precise abstraction.
Vague statements leave too much room for interpretation and mistakes you wouldn't want in your texts.
4. Use System Instructions
ChatGPT responds to instructions disguised as system commands. For instance: "You are an assistant who always replies politely". This sets a certain role for the entire chat, which the AI adheres to.
A more elaborate example I recently used to help a company with AI: "You are the CEO of a medium-sized company in Frankfurt am Main. Your company offers financial services, and your goal is to maximize revenue and profit with as little personal effort as possible."
5. Use Open-ended Questions
Open-ended questions encourage ChatGPT to respond more detailedly and creatively. This is particularly useful for longer texts or when you want to discuss or brainstorm topics.
Example: "What would be the societal impacts if every human could fly?"
6. Specify the Desired Format
You can influence the structure of the answer by specifying the format of the output in the prompt. This could be a brief mention or a longer list of how the text should be structured.
Example: "Give me a list of five benefits of regular exercise."
Or more elaborately: "Write an email to my good friend David. Scope: 1 introductory paragraph, 2-3 paragraphs about his holiday, including a section about my news. Finish with a CTA (Call-To-Action) suggesting we should have a phone call soon."
7. Control the Length of Responses
To get shorter or longer answers, you can specify this directly in the prompt.
Example: "Explain photosynthesis to me in a short paragraph."
Or: "Write an extensive text about the influence of AI in digital transformation."
8. Request Corrections and Revisions
You can ask ChatGPT to correct or revise a text to achieve a specific goal.
Example: "Revise the following text to achieve a more positive tone."
Or: "Rewrite the following text so that it's addressed to Chairman of the Board Dr. Müller and hence suitable for this person."
9. Use Feedback Loops
Iterative feedback loops help to better control ChatGPT and receive more accurate responses.
Example: After an initial answer, you can follow up: "That was helpful, but can you provide more details about X?"
It's also very useful to refine texts generated by the AI. Especially for advertising texts or blog posts, I like to use this.
For example: "Thank you, the text is good as it is. But please expand section X and make everything even more convincing and eloquent."
Try different approaches and experiment with your prompts to see what works best. The AI does not learn from individual interactions, but you can still learn from every prompt.
Over time, you get a sense of what the AI can do and where its boundaries lie. We achieved a success rate of over 99% within a few weeks and use ChatGPT for many texts. Our productivity has since multiplied, as has our customers'.
11. Extra Tip: Understand the Content
From my experience, text AIs like ChatGPT particularly excel with texts where the content itself matters, but not precise information or details, apart from those mentioned in the prompt. The AI tends to hallucinate answers, which are not accurate. Blind trust is not an option here, as with all information from the Internet.
For instance, ChatGPT can wonderfully craft code snippets. However, they are often not directly usable via copy & paste due to minor errors. But since I can program, I can easily find and fix the mistake. It's a bit like having an intern who tends to make careless errors and whose results should be meticulously checked.
Effective use of prompts can significantly improve your interaction with ChatGPT and other AI models. With some practice and a spirit of experimentation, you can achieve impressive results and fully tap into the potential of artificial intelligence. It's not just technological expertise that counts, but also the ability to communicate clearly and precisely.
In conclusion, it's important to note that no single approach is suitable for all situations. Each context and goal may require a different approach. The key lies in adaptability and understanding how to formulate your prompts to achieve the desired results.
What experiences have you had in creating good prompts? Or do you have further questions about optimizing your prompts or wish for professional support in dealing with AI? Use the comment function to share your thoughts and questions with us. We also offer comprehensive AI consulting services and are happy to assist you in improving your understanding and use of AI. Contact us today to learn more and optimize your AI experience!
This post was created with the support of artificial intelligence (GPT-4).