Skip to main content

How to write a great prompt for ChatGPT

You can use ChatGPT in a myriad of different ways, but however you decide to use it, you will always start with a prompt. This is your first message to the AI, where you tell it what you want it to do. We’ve found out to write a great prompt for ChatGPT, which will get you the response you’re looking for.

Tell it why, and start with ‘I’

Typically when people start using ChatGPT, they’ll ask it a bunch of different questions. This is a really great way to test out ChatGPT’s capabilities, and get used to the application. However, when we only send questions to the app, we miss out why we’re asking that question. In traditional search engines like Google, adding why you were searching for something is going to slow down your search; at best this is redundant information, and at worst it’s going to produce no results at all. However, ChatGPT works a little differently. 

When we’re getting started with ChatGPT, the ‘’why’’ is incredibly important. When we explain to the AI model what we’re doing and what our goal is, we’re providing ChatGPT with context. This context helps ChatGPT to give us a much better answer. The best way to do this is to start with ‘I’; for example, ‘I’m hosting Sunday lunch at my house this week, and eight of my friends and family are visiting, including two children.’ 

ChatGPT takes in all of this information, and will use it to generate an answer when you ask a question. Telling it why, and starting with ‘I’ gets you much closer to your desired answer.

Get specific with instruction

Think back to your Primary school years. One of the exercises you might remember your English or Creative Writing teacher giving you is to write instructions for an alien for something that seems simple, like making a sandwich. The teacher pretends to be the alien, and they follow all the instructions literally, pretend not to know how to use a knife or open jars, and predictably every step gets confusing and hilarious until your teacher’s desk is covered in bread and peanut butter.

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate the importance of specificity when it comes to giving instructions. As well as teaching us how to help aliens make lunch, it also teaches us how to write a prompt for ChatGPT. ChatGPT is much more effective and efficient when you provide it with clear and specific instructions about what you want it to do. 

When you’re asking ChatGPT to be creative, be specific and give lots of information. There is a lot of difference between, ‘I want you to create a menu for Sunday lunch’, and ‘I want you to create a menu for Sunday lunch which has options for people who are gluten free, which is likely to cost no more than £50, includes a starter, main and desert, and will take between 2 to 4 hours to prepare.’ The second prompt sets down all of your expectations, and will produce a much more detailed response.

Don’t stop at your first message

Once you’ve got your response back, it’s time to ask ChatGPT to refine its answer. One of the incredible things about this application is that it remembers your conversation; you don’t need to repeat most of your question to ask it to do something just a little bit differently. Instead, you can send another request, and ChatGPT will keep on working.

Check the response that you’ve received back. For our Sunday lunch question, ChatGPT fired back a menu which included caprese salad skewers, which won’t be appropriate for the imaginary children attending our imaginary Sunday lunch as they’re allergic to tomatoes. We’d also like something that shows off our incredible baking ability for dessert; and it would be ideal if we could prepare as much of this menu ahead of time as possible.

To use ChatGPT to the best of its ability, ask follow up questions until you’ve reached exactly the response you wanted. If something isn’t quite right, but you can’t figure out what it is, you can even ask ChatGPT to help you narrow down what you want.

Ready to give it a go?

Ready to get ChatGPT to do the hard work for you? Try out your new prompt writing skills by signing up here. https://chat.openai.com/


The Transcendit Way

Transcendit understand that when you choose to work with us, whether we're taking care of your IT, app or web development, you're trusting us with part of your business. So whether we're looking after your computers, phone systems or servers we always do things 'the Transcendit way'.

The whole of our team adhere to the same values, beliefs and policies - the principles that were written when Transcendit first formed in 2000. Whether you come to us for cloud services or recovery backup you can be confident that you'll always receive the same excellent service.

The Transcendit way outlines how we do business; following the same straightforward principles with every client and customer, regardless of how big or small they may be.

That means we get to know you and your business. We offer you a friendly, professional and efficient service, and we'll always be honest with you.
We understand that not everybody speaks fluent IT, so we try to explain things in a way that is simple and clear. We always spend as much time as is necessary explaining things to you.
If you need to talk to us about something, no matter how insignificant, we are only ever a phone call away – and we’re never too busy to make you a cup of tea and have a sit down with you in person.
We understand how frustrating it can be when things are late. When we schedule an appointment with you, we are there when you’re expecting us. If something prevents us from getting there, we always call you in advance to let you know.
Sometimes things can go wrong, but we never lie to you or try to cover something up. If things go askew we tell you what’s happened and how we plan to prevent it affecting your business.
We want you to continuously benefit from working with us. We regularly discuss your business and make suggestions for improving systems and processes wherever we can – but we never try to push you into a purchase.
When we quote a fixed price, that's always the amount we charge – you won’t find any nasty surprises on a bill from us. If you are paying by time and materials, we inform you if our approximations could change.
We understand the importance of privacy for your business and your customers. We respect the confidentiality of your data, and we will never pass on your information to third parties.
We appreciate it when you take the time to give us feedback. A system called CustomerSure records our client's responses, so you can trust that our reviews are from real people.
Find out what they're saying here.
We have worked with Transcendit for many years (it must be over 10 years) and their services are second to none. I work very closely with Christophe at Transcendit for our website’s communications to stakeholders and there’s nothing he can’t do! Christophe is very professional, prompt with emails and always checks with myself if everything is how it should be. The staff at Transcendit are highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to IT. We look forward to continuing to work with Transcendit for the next however many years Laura Driver, NRCPD

Based on 11207 reviews our customers rate us 9.8/10. Reviews and ratings by Customersure. 17-January-2024

Transcendit are proud sponsors of CHUF, the Children's Heart Unit Fund.

Transcendit is a Living Wage employer
Transcendit is a Microsoft Gold certified partner
VMWARE partner
Vipre partner
IPCortex partner
WithSecure partner
DELL partner
Barracuda partner
Veeam partner
N-Able partner