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ChatGPT for beginners: how to set prompts correctly

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ChatGPT for beginners: how to set prompts correctly

robort - 2023-05-30 05:28:46

Many don't realize it yet, or maybe they don't want to, but generative AIs like ChatGPT and AutoGPT will soon become our personal trainer and nutritionist, our travel agent and cause hundreds of millions of layoffs, with thousands of jobs replaced by artificial intelligence. 
And while this technology is capable of understanding human speech, there are a few strategies for setting up prompts that allow you to really get the most out of ChatGPT and the other alternative apps. So here are some practical tips for setting prompts correctly.


What is a Prompt?

A ChatGPT prompt is a phrase or question that is used to initiate a conversation with an AI system based on the GPT model. The prompt can be chosen by the user or generated by the system based on the context and goal of the conversation. The prompt serves to give direction and tone to the conversation and to stimulate the creativity and interest of the system and the user.

What features should a prompt have?

1. Role

The first thing to do is define the role of ChatGPT. At that moment what is it? The best nutritionist in the world or the best marketing expert? If you need it for programming, it can become a Linux Terminal or a Javascript Console.

You can set this parameter by saying something like “You are the best travel agent in the world” if you are planning a vacation, or “You are the best recruiter in the world” if you are setting up a job posting. For example:

  • You are an English translator
  • You are an HR expert
  • You are a plagiarism checker
  • You are a movie character
  • You are Steve Jobs
  • You are a playwright
  • You are a Virtual Doctor
  • You are a personal trainer

2. Learn from ChatGPT

After assigning a role to ChatGPT, you can specify who you are. “A 5-year-old boy” if you want me to explain a concept to you in an elementary way or “like I was Elon Musk” if you want very detailed details. You can also use phrases like “clearly” or “with examples” or “originally.”

3. Write the prompt

Once the roles have been defined, and thus provided with a clear context, you can already start throwing the chain of requests that generates the prompt. To set up a ChatGPT prompt, it's important to follow a few guidelines to ensure your question or statement is clear and complete. Here are some characteristics that a well-formed prompt should have:

  1. Clarity: Make sure the prompt is written in a clear and understandable way. Avoid ambiguity and explain any specific terms or concepts that may not be immediately recognizable.
  2. Accuracy: Be specific in your request. Include pertinent details that will help the model understand exactly what you are asking and provide an appropriate response.
  3. Context: Provide enough context to help the model understand the situation or problem you are presenting. You can start with a short introduction or provide background information to put your question into context.
  4. Appropriate Length: Avoid making the prompt too long or complex. Try to be concise and to the point. However, make sure you provide enough information for the model to understand your request.
  5. Response Type: Indicate the type of response you'd like to receive, such as a list, paragraph, step-by-step explanation, or conversational-style response.

Here's an example of a well-formed prompt:

“You are Ruben Bondì, explain how to prepare pasta alla carbonara, a traditional Roman dish. He lists the main ingredients and briefly describes the key steps to cooking it.”

This prompt is clear, precise, provides context, is of appropriate length, and indicates the type of response you want. But the prompt isn't a monolith; you can edit it and have it redo it, however, you like:

  1. Write an article about [Topic]
  2. Give me the title, abstract, and paragraphs.

And after receiving the answer, you can deepen it or have it modified with further requests because the AIs do not lose the thread. Things like:

  • Write 5 alternative titles with [required feature]
  • Add [specific topic] to the speech

4. Refine the request

In general, the universal command looks like this:

Write a [blog post, paragraph, short summary etc.] on [topic] with the style [define some parameters].

However, you can add elements that enrich and contextualize the request. Things like the role of ChatGPT, as we have seen, but also much more, like:

  • Continuing a text: [Incipit] now you continue.
  • Rewording text: Rewrite the following text in the style of [style].
  • Keyword List: Give me a list of keywords associated with [subject].
  • Solving Complex Problems: Math problems, exam questions, math equations, etc.
  • Guides: Explain how to [topic] step by step.
  • Programming and Debugging: Convert this code from Javascript to Python [code].
  • Reviews Write an evaluation of this text/blog/site.
  • Edit Prompt: Translate, lengthen, and reformulate [text].
  • Information Mining: What year Apple was created, who the founders were, tell their stories.

Practical Examples

Here is a series of practical examples created by Hasan Toor that can help you in your work. If you are a sales employee :

  • How can I improve my sales presentation to better connect with potential customers?
  • What are some effective strategies for overcoming objections in a sales conversation?
  • Can you provide some tips for building and maintaining strong customer relationships?
  • How can I leverage social media to boost my sales efforts?
  • What are some effective ways to follow up on leads and close more deals?

Prompt for marketers :

  • Can you give me some ideas for blog posts on [topic]?
  • Write a product description for my [product or service or company]
  • Suggest cheap ways to promote my [product or service or company]
  • How to get high-quality backlinks to increase SEO of [website name].

Prompts for web developers:

  • What are the key elements of a successful landing page?
  • What are some effective strategies for creating a strong brand voice?
  • How can I write more engaging product descriptions?
  • How to improve my headline writing skills?
  • How can I use storytelling in my copy to engage my audience?

Developer Prompts :

  • Develop an architecture and code for [website] in JavaScript.
  • Please help me find errors in the following code [paste code here].
  • Continue writing this code for JavaScript [code here].
  • I want to implement a sticky header on my website. Can you provide an example using CSS and JavaScript?

Prompt for Human Resources Officers:

  • Create a summary showing my ability to [insert relevant technical skills e.g. programming language, software, etc.]

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Robort Gabriel

Lagos, Nigeria

Freelance Web Developer, Native Android Developer, and Coding Tutor.

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