by Edward Deane (Ted)
Prompt Engineering


Welcome to a fascinating exploration of prompt engineering, an aspect that often goes unnoticed but plays a pivotal role in shaping interactions with conversational agents like ChatGPT. If you've ever wondered why some questions yield insightful responses while others may lead to rather lacklustre ones, you're about to delve into the very framework that often determines that outcome.

Prompt engineering is essentially the art of asking the right questions, or rather, instructing a conversational agent in the best possible way to ensure you get the answers or responses you're looking for. Think of it as giving directions. If you're too vague or overly complex, you might not end up where you want to go. But with clear, well-considered instructions, your chances of reaching your destination are significantly improved.

In today's discussion, we're going to focus on five specific formats that you can employ to craft effective prompts: Persona, Scenario, Task, Tone, and an optional format for those special use-cases. Whether you're interested in detailed expertise, setting a context, getting straight-to-the-point answers, or fine-tuning the tone of the conversation, there's a format designed to help you achieve that.

So, let's embark on this enlightening journey and unearth the secret to mastering the art of conversation with ChatGPT, shall we?

Persona - "You are an expert in [subject]"

Introduction to Persona

Let's start with a format that's particularly compelling when you're seeking detailed, insightful information from ChatGPT: the Persona format. In essence, this method allows you to directly instruct the model to assume a specific area of expertise. For instance, you could say, "You are an expert in classic literature," and the model would respond in a manner that reflects a deep understanding of classic literature.

Prompt Engineering Persona

Why Use Persona?

Why would you choose to use the Persona format over others? Simply put, Persona is incredibly effective when you require a nuanced and deep-dive approach into a particular subject matter. It essentially gives you a tailored response that one would expect from a human expert in the field.

However, it's worth mentioning that Persona is not a one-size-fits-all solution. While it excels in providing expert-level insights, it may not always be the most suitable choice for simpler, straightforward queries. For instance, using Persona to ask about the weather may be an overkill, when a simpler Task-based prompt could suffice.

Examples and Best Practices

For those of you eager to get started, here are some examples:

  1. Wrong Way: "Tell me about Shakespeare."
    • This is too vague and does not leverage the Persona format effectively.
  2. Right Way: "You are an expert in Elizabethan literature. Tell me about the impact of Shakespeare's work on modern drama."
    • This is a well-structured prompt, tapping into the model's 'expertise' in a specific subject.

Best practices when using the Persona format include:

  • Clearly defining the subject of expertise
  • Pairing it with a specific question or task
  • Being mindful of the scope—too broad, and you may receive generalized answers; too narrow, and you might miss out on valuable context

Why Persona?

To summarise, the Persona format is your go-to when you want an answer that's not just correct, but also rich in detail and context, almost as if you were talking to an expert in the field. It's not the tool for every job, but when used appropriately, it can yield highly insightful and tailored responses.

By understanding and mastering this format, you're well on your way to unlocking a more meaningful and enriching conversational experience with ChatGPT. So, the next time you find yourself seeking expert advice or deep insights, remember to employ the Persona format for an optimal result.

And with that, let's move on to the next format, shall we?

Scenario - "Working for [company] or with knowledge in [subject]"

MicrosoftTeams image

Introduction to Scenario

In our quest for more engaging and insightful conversations with ChatGPT, let's turn our attention to the Scenario format. This approach is particularly compelling for those instances when you require a backdrop to your queries, offering a stage on which ChatGPT can perform. By specifying a context like "Working for a tech startup" or "With knowledge in ancient history," you not only frame the conversation but also set the expectations for the kind of responses you'll receive.

The Power of Context

Imagine asking for a recipe for a romantic dinner. The answer would differ markedly depending on whether you frame it as a general inquiry or within the context of "With knowledge in French cuisine." In the latter scenario, you're more likely to receive a suggestion involving coq au vin rather than a simple spaghetti dish. That's the power of context; it hones the answers to fit within a particular set of circumstances, making the output far more tailored to your needs or situation.

Examples and Best Practices

For those keen to harness the power of Scenario, here are some examples:

  1. Wrong Way: "Tell me how to attract customers."
    • It's a reasonable question but lacks specificity. Are you a retailer, a tech company, or a restaurant?
  2. Right Way: "You are working for a tech startup. How should I attract customers?"
    • This adds a context to your question, making the advice you receive better suited to your particular needs.

Best practices in using Scenario prompts include:

  • Clearly defining the context in which the model should consider the query
  • Making sure the scenario aligns with the question you're asking
  • Being specific but not too narrow, as over-specialising may limit the utility of the answers you receive

The Role of Scenario in Industries

The Scenario format has wide applications across various industries:

  • Healthcare: "Working in a hospital, what are best practices for patient care?"
  • Finance: "With expertise in stock market trends, what should I consider when investing?"
  • Education: "As a university lecturer, how can I engage my students more effectively?"

By understanding and applying the Scenario format effectively, you'll not only receive more tailored advice but also improve the quality of your interactions with ChatGPT. It's a robust tool in your toolkit, one that provides a nuanced layer to your queries.

And so, equipped with the insights from this section, let's proceed to explore more formats, shall we?

Task - "[Your Task]"

Introduction to Task

After delving into the complexities of Persona and Scenario, it's time to simplify matters a bit with the Task format. This approach is all about getting to the point. If you have a direct question or need straightforward guidance, the Task format is often the best route to take. This method typically begins with a clear action verb, such as "Explain," "Describe," or "Tell me," setting the stage for a focused, actionable answer.

PhotoReal Create an image that visually encapsulates the role 1 1

The Utility of Task-Based Prompts

Sometimes, all you need is a straight answer. You don't want the model to assume any specific expertise or to frame its responses within a particular scenario. Task prompts are brilliant for procedural questions, factual inquiries, or when you just need to know "how-to" do something.

Examples and Best Practices

Let's look at some examples to better grasp the utility of the Task format:

  1. Wrong Way: "I want to know about photosynthesis."
    • While not incorrect, the request is vague and leaves too much room for interpretation.
  2. Right Way: "Explain the process of photosynthesis."
    • This is a clear, direct task that specifies what you're looking for, leaving little room for ambiguity.

Best practices when crafting Task-based prompts include:

  • Starting with a clear action verb
  • Being as specific as possible about what you need
  • Avoiding additional context if you want the most direct answer

The Versatility of Task

It's worth noting that the Task format is highly versatile and can be applied to a myriad of questions and situations. Whether you're a student seeking clarification on a particular topic, a professional in need of quick guidance, or just someone curious about how things work, Task-based prompts often provide the most straightforward, no-nonsense answers.

Task in Complex Queries

Even in more complex queries, a well-phrased Task can cut through the complexity and provide a clear, concise answer. For example, instead of saying, "I'm interested in the economic impact of climate change," you could say, "Summarise the economic impact of climate change." The latter is far more direct and signals clearly what you expect in a response.

In summary, the Task format serves as a powerful tool for simplifying interactions and getting straight to the point. While it might lack the depth of Persona or the nuance of Scenario, its strength lies in its straightforwardness and applicability across a wide range of queries.

Having explored the ins and outs of Task-based prompts, shall we proceed to delve into the next format?

Tone - "Your question with specific tone instructions"

As we continue our exploration of prompt engineering, it's crucial not to overlook the element of Tone. After all, what is a conversation without the nuances of emotional or contextual colouring? Tone can dramatically affect the nature of a dialogue, subtly shaping the user's perception of and engagement with ChatGPT. Whether you're seeking a formal explanation, a casual chat, or a dose of humour, specifying the tone of your conversation can make all the difference.

PhotoReal Generate a compelling image prompt that embodies the 2

The Significance of Tone

One might ask, "Why bother with tone? Isn't the information itself sufficient?" Well, tone adds a layer of richness to interactions that purely factual content cannot achieve alone. For instance, a joke explained in a formal tone loses its humour, while an academic topic discussed casually might not convey its gravity effectively.

Examples and Best Practices

Here are a few examples to illuminate the impact of tone:

  1. Wrong Way: "Tell me about the theory of relativity."
    • This will get you a factual, but possibly dry, response.
  2. Right Way: "Explain the theory of relativity to me like you're telling a story."
    • Here, the storytelling tone adds an engaging narrative element to the topic.

Best practices in specifying tone include:

  • Being explicit about the desired tone
  • Matching the tone to the subject matter or the audience
  • Experimenting with different tones to achieve varied conversational experiences

Subsection 4.1: The Intricacies of Tone

Setting the tone in prompts is not without its pitfalls. For instance, choosing a casual tone for serious topics might undermine the gravity of the subject. On the flip side, employing an overly formal tone for everyday queries could make the interaction feel stilted and less engaging.

Tone in Different Sectors

Different sectors and situations may require specific tones:

  • Corporate: An informative and formal tone may be preferable.
  • Education: A conversational yet instructive tone could enhance engagement.
  • Personal Queries: A casual or empathetic tone might be more suitable.

Mastering the element of Tone in your prompt engineering toolkit can lead to more fulfilling, engaging, and nuanced interactions with ChatGPT. It's like the seasoning in a well-cooked meal: not the main ingredient but something that can significantly enhance or spoil the overall experience.

And with that, we come to the end of our exploration of Tone in prompt engineering. Shall we proceed to the next section to complete our foray into this fascinating subject?

Specifying Response Format - "Table, Markup, Emoji, and More"

Introduction to Response Format

As we conclude our comprehensive guide to prompt engineering with ChatGPT, let's not forget that the presentation of the answer can be as crucial as the answer itself. By specifying the desired format, whether it's a table layout, full markup, or even the inclusion of emojis, you can further tailor the output to your unique requirements.

The Importance of Response Format

The format in which information is presented can significantly affect its clarity and impact. A well-structured table can simplify complex data, while the strategic use of emojis can add a touch of relatability or emphasis to an otherwise bland text. It's the final piece in the puzzle of effective prompt engineering.

Examples and Best Practices

Here are some guiding examples:

  1. Table: "List the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in a table format."
    • A table can neatly organise the pros and cons for easy comparison.
  2. Markup: "Explain the concept of inflation using full HTML markup for enhanced readability."
    • Markup can help break down a complex topic into easy-to-read sections.
  3. Emoji: "Describe the process of photosynthesis in a fun, engaging tone, and include relevant emojis 🌱."
    • Emojis can add a playful or emotive aspect to the explanation.

Best practices for specifying response format include:

  • Clearly indicating the desired format within the prompt
  • Making sure the chosen format aligns well with the topic and tone
  • Being mindful not to overcomplicate the prompt with too many formatting demands
ChatGPT markup

When and Where to Use Specific Formats

Different situations call for various formats:

  • Academic or Professional Reports: Table and markup formats could add clarity.
  • Social Media Posts: A more relaxed tone with emojis may be apt.
  • Educational Content: A mix of formats can make the material more engaging and easier to understand.

Conclusion on Response Format

The ability to specify response formats provides yet another layer of customisation in your interactions with ChatGPT. As with the other elements we've discussed, the key lies in understanding your specific needs and crafting your prompts accordingly.

And there you have it—a comprehensive guide to mastering the art of prompt engineering with ChatGPT. We've traversed the landscapes of Persona, Scenario, Task, Tone, Optional Formats, and now Response Formats. Equipped with this knowledge, you're well-prepared to engage in richer, more effective conversations with the model. Shall we put what we've learned into practice?

Advanced Data Analyst Add-on - "Taking Prompt Engineering to the Next Level"

Introduction to Advanced Data Analyst Add-on

Just when you thought you had mastered all the nuances of prompt engineering, here comes an exciting twist: the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on. This powerful feature allows for more granular, data-driven interactions with ChatGPT, opening up a plethora of opportunities for in-depth analysis and interpretation. In this section, we shall delve into how you can make the most of this add-on in your prompt engineering journey.

Why Use the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on?

The Advanced Data Analyst Add-on brings a new layer of sophistication to ChatGPT by facilitating more complex queries that require substantial data manipulation or statistical analysis. Whether you're looking to perform a quick market trend analysis or deep-dive into historical data sets, this add-on has got you covered.

Examples and Best Practices

Let’s consider some example prompts using the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on:

  1. Data Aggregation with Tone:
    • "You are an expert data analyst. Aggregate the sales data for the last quarter and present the key insights in a professional tone."
  2. Scenario and Statistical Analysis:
    • "Imagine you're a political consultant. Perform a statistical analysis on recent election results and explain any noticeable trends."
  3. Data Visualization:
    • "You are an environmental scientist. Please generate a pie chart showing the distribution of various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."
chatGPT Piechart

Best practices for using the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on include:

  • Clearly specify the data parameters in your prompt.
  • Align the task with the capabilities of the add-on.
  • Experiment with varying levels of complexity to find the sweet spot for your analytical needs.

Integration with Core and Optional Formats

The beauty of the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on is that it integrates seamlessly with the core and optional formats we’ve discussed earlier. For instance, you could use a Persona of 'expert economist,' set a Scenario of 'economic downturn,' assign a Task of 'forecasting GDP,' and ask for it all to be done in a formal Tone, all while leveraging the add-on for data-intensive operations.

Conclusion on Advanced Data Analyst Add-on

The Advanced Data Analyst Add-on is a game-changer for those looking to leverage ChatGPT for more than just basic queries and general knowledge. It offers an extra layer of complexity and detail, making your data-driven tasks more insightful and actionable.

So, there you have it—the missing piece to making your ChatGPT interactions even more dynamic and impactful. Now, you're not just asking questions; you're engaging in advanced data analysis, all powered by carefully crafted prompts. Ready to take it for a spin?

Prompt Engineering with DALL-E 3 - "Extending Interactivity Through Visual Elements"

Introduction to DALL-E 3

We've already delved deep into the art and science of prompt engineering with ChatGPT. Now, let's take it a step further by introducing DALL-E 3, a sibling AI model capable of generating images based on textual prompts. The integration of DALL-E 3 into your prompt engineering toolkit can offer an immersive and multi-dimensional experience, combining text and visual elements in a unique way.

Why Include DALL-E 3?

DALL-E 3 allows you to extend the conversation beyond just words. Imagine asking for a historical overview and receiving not only a well-articulated summary but also a generated visual timeline. Or perhaps you're inquiring about fashion trends, and along with the text, you receive a montage of generated images depicting those trends. The possibilities are fascinating and nearly endless.

Dall E 3

Examples and Best Practices

Here are some prompts that incorporate DALL-E 3:

  1. Visual Storytelling:
    • "You are an expert historian. Provide an overview of the Industrial Revolution and include a visual timeline created by DALL-E 3."
  2. Scenario and Imagery:
    • "Imagine you are a travel consultant. Recommend five must-visit destinations in Italy and include DALL-E 3-generated postcard images for each."
  3. Product Design Concept:
    • "You're a professional product designer. Describe the features of an eco-friendly smartphone and generate a concept image using DALL-E 3."

Best practices for using DALL-E 3 in prompt engineering include:

  • Specify the need for a DALL-E 3 image clearly within the prompt.
  • Align the visual request with the subject matter and the capabilities of DALL-E 3.
  • Experiment with different styles and angles to get the most apt visual representation.

Integration with ChatGPT Prompts

DALL-E 3 integrates seamlessly with the ChatGPT prompts you're already familiar with. This means you can combine the elements of Persona, Scenario, Task, Tone, Optional Formats, and even the Advanced Data Analyst Add-on with DALL-E 3 to create multi-layered, multi-media outputs.

DALL-E 3 opens up a new frontier in your interactions with AI, allowing for a more enriched and comprehensive experience. By integrating DALL-E 3 into your prompt engineering repertoire, you can access a more holistic, text-plus-visual form of communication. Whether it's educational, professional, or just for fun, the integration of textual and visual elements sets the stage for the next level of AI interaction.

And there you have it. We've covered a lot of ground in the world of prompt engineering, from the basics to advanced features and even visual integrations. The canvas is broad; the colours many. Now it's over to you to paint your own interactive masterpiece. Are you ready to give it a go?

Conclusion: Crafting the Perfect Prompt - "Putting It All Together"

Summing Up the Journey

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to prompt engineering with ChatGPT, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on what we've covered. From understanding the intricacies of Persona, Scenario, and Task, to mastering the art of Tone, Optional Formats, and even Response Formats, we've traversed a rich landscape of possibilities. The aim has always been to equip you with the knowledge and skills to tailor your interactions with ChatGPT, making them as meaningful, informative, and engaging as possible.

The Power of Combining Formats

The beauty of prompt engineering lies in the flexibility to combine different formats and elements to suit your specific needs. A well-crafted prompt can not only fetch accurate and relevant information but can also make the interaction more human-like and relatable.

Examples of Full Prompts

Let's consider some examples that incorporate various elements we've discussed:

  1. Combining Persona and Task with Tone:
    • "You are a financial analyst. Summarise the economic outlook for the next year in a professional tone."
  2. Scenario, Task, and Response Format:
    • "Imagine you are a history teacher presenting to high school students. Explain the causes of World War I and list them in a table format."
  3. Persona, Task, Tone, and Emoji:
    • "You're an expert in environmental science. Describe the impact of climate change on polar bears in an empathetic tone 🐾."
  4. Scenario, Task, Tone, and Markup:
    • "Suppose you're writing a blog post for healthcare professionals. Elaborate on the importance of mental health awareness in the medical field, using HTML markup and a formal tone."

By combining these various elements thoughtfully, you can craft prompts that yield precise, tailored responses that meet your specific informational or emotional needs.

Final Thoughts

Crafting the perfect prompt is both an art and a science. It demands a clear understanding of your objectives, the subject matter, and the context in which the interaction is taking place. With the insights and examples provided in this guide, you're now well-equipped to elevate your ChatGPT conversations to the next level. So why wait? Let's put this newfound knowledge to the test and engage in some truly enriching dialogues.

Thank you for joining us on this enlightening journey through the world of prompt engineering. We hope it serves you well in all your future interactions with ChatGPT. Would you like to explore some prompts together to solidify what we've learned?

About the author 

Edward Deane (Ted)

Founder & Director 2excel