Create an Effective AI Prompt

A lady using ChatGPT

More people are now inclined towards using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help them with recommendation, data analysis, content creation and so on. However, it can be hard to figure out how to generate the relevant and most effective outcome or find exactly what we are looking for. 

For instance, we want to write a blog on how to take a screenshot of a computer screen and we are using ChatGPT to write it for us. The response of ChatGPT depends on how we create our prompt and the elements we include in it. 

Here are some helpful tips to guide us in creating AI prompts that can result in improved outcomes, closely aligned with our specific needs:

1. Have a clear goal 

Before creating an AI prompt, it is important to have a clear understanding of our goal. Whether it's generating creative content, answering specific questions, or providing relevant recommendations, align your prompt with the intended outcome.

Let’s use the screenshot example. If we write a prompt saying, “How to take a screenshot?” ChatGPT will show every possible way to take the screenshot in every operating system and in every device. Is this what we wanted? Not really. In this case, we can get a much improved response by specifying what we need. We should include that we need content for a blog post and the only device we need the information is for a computer. So we can ask, “Write a blog post on how to take a screenshot on a computer screen.” 

2. Talk to AI like you would talk to a person

This is surprisingly one of the challenging things to do when writing an AI prompt. When we are talking to a person, we tend to clarify all necessary details so that they can understand the whole story and respond accordingly. If by their response we feel that they didn't quite get it we then try to add more details or explain it in a different way. It is the same way with AI prompts. 

When writing our prompt we should remember that we are not trying to program it or list a set of instructions. AI language models are designed to understand and process human language. The key here is to talk to AI as you would talk to a person. 

3. Provide context 

Giving some background information of your question or topic helps the AI to understand the scope and purpose of your prompt. 

If we are writing a blog for our clients who are already proficient with technology, it would be very different from writing a blog for the general public. We can also specify constraints according to our needs. If we need a blog post for our clients on how to take a screenshot of a computer screen that is short and that has a professional tone of voice.

We could ask ChatGPT: “Draft a blog post with a professional tone of voice for my clients who are already technology-savvy on how to take a screenshot of a computer screen with no more than 500 words.”

4. Include examples

Adding examples to your prompts can provide a clear illustration of the desired response by helping the AI model to understand the task better. You can also offer a variety of examples which will enable the AI model to understand the pattern of the prompt and provide you with a better outcome. 

We can give examples of titles that we like and ask ChatGPT to show us options for titles for our blog. We could ask : "I'm looking for a title for my blog. I have a few examples that I like, and I would appreciate it if you could give me some options for a new title inspired by them. Here are the examples:

  • Mastering the Art of Screenshotting
  • Capturing Brilliance: Taking Screenshots Like a Pro
  • Screenshot Success: Empowering Your Digital Communication"

5. Use system instructions

Guide the AI's behavior by providing system level instructions at the beginning of your prompt. For example, you can specify a role for the AI, such as "You are a poet", "Provide a step-by-step guide" or “Give an example.” 

Different identities allow the AI to provide different perspectives as part of its response. If we were writing a blog post for capturing a screenshot of a computer screen for clients from the year 2050, it would probably be very different from what we would write for our current clients. Here is one way we can ask ChatGPT: “Imagine that the year is 2050. Now, draft a blog post with a professional tone of voice for my clients who are already technology-savvy on how to take a screenshot of a computer screen with no more than 500 words.” 

Some prompt-writing tips to enhance ChatGPT experience :

  • Guide ChatGPT by making small changes to your prompts to get a better answer
  • Try to specify the length of the response. Answers over about 500 words sometimes break down. 
  • Tell ChatGPT to support or justify its answers, if you want sources cited.
  • As long as the current page is open, ChatGPT will maintain its awareness of previous conversations. 
  • Sometimes ChatGPT fails despite multiple tries. It is not perfect yet, so be prepared to try other alternatives. 


Learn more about writing the best AI prompts by Jeff Moore, CEO at Get Local Digital Agency. 

Visit ZDNET's website to learn more about how to write better ChatGPT prompts. 

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