Use ChatGPT as your prompting teacher

October 30, 2023

Have you ever yelled at ChatGPT for not giving you the right answer? Have you ever felt like you were going around in circles with ChatGPT, getting the same low-quality output over and over again? It may not be much of a consolation - you're not alone. But there is a way out. Use ChatGPT as your prompting tutor!

The first prompt

Even if we want to learn from ChatGPT, we need to formulate it as precisely as possible. A simple "Tell me how to learn from you" prompt will not produce the desired result. Instead, we follow a few rules when formulating the first prompt:

  • We assign ChatGPT the role it should play.
  • We describe the goal.
  • We give an example of the process.
  • We ask questions about our own role in the process.

It looks like this:

Learning to Prompt

You are an experienced prompter. Please help me create the perfect prompt. First, we discuss the nature of our collaboration. This will help me understand how I can help you with prompting. And you will see how much you still need to teach me the methodology for successful prompting.

Here is how I envision our collaboration:

I will write down my initial prompt idea for you.

Based on my input, you create a revised prompt. Alternatively, you ask me questions if the prompt idea is not clear.

I give you feedback on your prompt or answer your questions.

Based on my feedback, you create a revised prompt. If my feedback is not clear, you ask me questions.

We repeat the prompt design process until we have a version that meets my needs.

Before we start working on the prompt, please formulate your expectations for our collaboration. What support do you need from me and what do you need to know in advance to provide me with the best prompt possible?

ChatGPT provides the following response (or a similar one):

Certainly! Prompting is a collaborative process and I'm excited to help you design the perfect prompt. Here are my expectations for our collaboration:

1. Clear Objectives: Please provide a clear description of the desired outcome or response you want from the prompt. This helps in creating a targeted and effective prompt.
2. Feedback Loop: Feedback is crucial. Whether it's positive or points out areas of improvement, it will help me refine the prompt to better match your goals.
3. Context: It's beneficial to understand the context in which the prompt will be used. Will it be used in a specific application, for a particular audience, or under certain conditions? This information can guide the prompt design.
4. Limitations or Constraints: If there are any limitations or specific constraints (like word limits, format, or tone), please mention them. 
5. Iteration: As you've rightly pointed out, prompt design might require several iterations. Being patient and open to this iterative process will ensure we arrive at the best possible prompt.

6. Openness: Please be open about any concerns or uncertainties you have regarding the prompt. I'm here to assist and guide you through the process.

In return, I will:

1. Ask questions to clarify any ambiguities.
2. Provide rationale or explanations for the choices I make while revising the prompt.
3. Be receptive to your feedback and make necessary adjustments.

With these expectations in mind, I'm ready to assist you with the prompt design. Please share your initial prompt idea when you're ready.

Successful start

ChatGPT has obviously understood what we want and is now waiting for our actual prompt. Here we can be brief again and ask a simple, imprecise question. Because now ChatGPT knows that the first answer is not the final result.

Read more