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Mastering Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT and Other AI: Proven Strategies for Optimal Outcomes

Reviewed By Engineering Expert and Coach
 
Bill Coloe
 
on
 
June 3, 2024
 

The Basics of Prompt Engineering

Just like storytelling, when practicing prompt engineering, there are a few key topics to keep in mind.

  • Tone
  • Format
  • Objective
  • Context
  • Examples

Every prompt should have a piece of each of these elements for an accurate response.

Tone

Tone refers to the sound of how you'd like the AI to respond-- and there are several different ways this could take. You could ask it to be formal for legal agreements or official sounding letters/emails. A casual tone might be great for website copy or social media copy. An informative tone might help communicate elements of a brochure or a piece of blog content. Marketers might take advantage of using a persuasive tone to help convince users why they NEED a product. The examples could go on and on! 

Format

Defining the format of the desired response from chat is crucial for effective replies. Some examples of this might include essay formats (we don't condone using this for evil, though!), bullet points, a presentation outline, or a script dialogue.

Objective

This has a similar goal to tone, but it's important to showcase the objective of the desired response. Is your plan to persuade users to buy a product? Or inform them of a new park trail? Putting this at the forefront of your ask will help the AI craft a response for your desired audience and result.

Context

As always, the more background information the better! AIs are like humans in that the more information you give them, the better the end result is. Some examples of relevant background information might be unique data points, the "why" behind your request, who's asking, who's reading.. this list could also go on! 

Examples

We've found this to be an extremely effective way to communicate desired results to an AI. Find examples of written things that you like, and copy and paste it into the request box. Similar posts, stories, articles, documents-- you name it-- all can be hugely helpful in creating effective replies.

We recommend including elements of 5 of these in every prompt to draw out the best responses and save you time in the workplace!

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Chat GPT Ultimate Prompt Engineering Guide

Prompt engineering has a similar structure to telling a story. Just like humans, the AI needs the full picture to achieve your desired results. When crafting your prompts, also think specifically about these elements to include for desired outcomes:

  • Audience: Specify the target audience for tailored content. This is a great tool for website copy.
  • Scope: Define the requested scope or range of the topic response.
  • Keywords: List important keywords or phrases to be included. This one is especially helpful with SEO content.
  • Limitations: Specify constraints such as word or character count.
  • Points of view: Ask the Al to write from multiple perspectives or opinions.
  • Devil's Advocate: Request a follow up with potential counterarguments.
  • Terminology: Specify any industry-specific or technical terms to use or avoid.
  • Analogies: Ask the Al to use analogies or examples to clarify concepts.
  • Quotes: Request inclusion of relevant quotes or statements from experts.
  • Data Points: Encourage the use of statistics or data points to back up or support your claims. (Be sure to fact-check these yourself though!)
  • Visual Pieces: Ask the AI to include relevant charts, graphs, or images. This is especially powerful in GPT-4.
  • Call to Action: Request a clear call to action or next steps for your readers.
  • Sensitivity: Mention sensitive topics or issues to be handled carefully or left out entirely.
  • Citations: Request inclusion of citations or sources to support information.

In sum, anything you can add to make a story more colorful, you could probably add to a chat prompt to get a better response!

Conclusion

Harnessing the power of AI Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4 or ChatGPT requires more than just technical know-how—it demands a mastery of prompt engineering. Understanding how to formulate prompts that guide these models to generate meaningful, relevant, and contextually appropriate responses can significantly enhance your AI-driven tools and services.

As AI-powered solutions continue to permeate various industries and applications, the demand for skilled prompt engineers is expected to grow. By developing the right skillset and embracing the core competencies outlined in this article, aspiring prompt engineers can excel in this burgeoning field and contribute significantly to the advancement and adoption of AI-driven tools and services.

WRITTEN BY
Bill Coloe
Bridged Builder, Chef & Floorball Extraordinaire
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