5 Pro Tips for Winning AI Chatbot Prompts

AI chatbots are now a staple in our digital lives, offering quick and smart assistance across various platforms. They can provide instant information, write relatable marketing content, and even engage in human-like conversation. 

To do this, however, chatbots require AI prompts. But what is an AI prompt? This blog will answer that, and it will show you how to create the most effective AI prompts — So you can stay one step ahead in this fast-paced world of innovation.

What are AI Chatbot Prompts?

Learning how to write AI prompts can be a daunting task if you are new to the space of artificial intelligence, but once you master it, you will discover that AI chatbots are incredibly helpful and convenient. 

Let’s break down “chatbot” and “prompt” to understand what a chatbot prompt is. A chatbot is a computer program that gathers human inputs like Internet searches, books, and published stories and uses that information to mimic human consciousness. A prompt is simply a set of instructions you provide to a chatbot to elicit a natural, accurate, and effective response according to your task. 

AI prompting is crucial to getting your desired output from a chatbot because artificial intelligence is just that, – artificial, – so it requires human interaction to mimic human understanding. A weak prompt could elicit a response that is unrealistic or biased. Due to this, the best AI prompts include context and are direct about the desired task. 

Prompting for Different Outputs

A key characteristic of all AI chatbots is their versatility. However, this could be a pitfall if the AI prompt is not clear and direct. 

The best prompts for AI chatbots include the following: A role, the desired tone or voice, the purpose of the chatbot’s response, and the goal you are looking to achieve. 

To aid you in generating effective material, here is an effective AI prompt example that includes all of the keys and is also workable as a template for any task:

“You are a marketing director who excels at creating catchy, relatable content. You want to create a 100-word social media post about [ insert business here–I chose a ‘pet grooming business’ ]. Your goal is to get people to send this post to their friends or coworkers, driving traffic to your business.”

Below is a screenshot of what it looked like to provide this prompt to Microsoft’s CoPilot, which has three settings: creative, standard, and precise. I chose “creative” for this to elicit the most personable and imaginative response.

Microsoft CoPilot

This post is undeniably playful and friendly, in theme with the pet grooming business, but the prompt could be adjusted to make it more professional and tailored to a different audience. If you want to switch the functionality of the chatbot, you can simply click the purple “new topic” bubble in the bottom-left corner and switch the mode to “standard” or “precise” for different purposes.

The role is outlined early, followed by the tone and purpose, and the conclusion. The conclusion is important for any marketing post – this one drives traffic and creates a network. 

Using this template, you could create anything from a 50-word poem or a 1000-word article. There are few restrictions with AI chatbots as long as the key features outlined above are present. To generate a different content format, you can easily replace “social media post” with your desired format in the template. 

You will notice that in the example, the desired tone is embedded in “catchy, relatable content,” but you can always be more explicit. Do not be afraid to over-communicate with chatbots. If another prompt is required to nail down your coveted mood or tone, some effective options could be ‘witty’, ‘persuasive’, ‘humorous’, ‘confident’, or ‘thoughtful.’ These are specific and give the chatbot a sense of what you want to achieve.

Other use cases for prompting AI? In addition to creating original content, AI chatbots are great at building custom schedules, summarizing text, and aiding in brainstorming sessions. 

When writing AI prompts for specific tasks such as creating a daily work schedule, it can be useful to break down the task into multiple parts to ensure the chatbot addresses each concern. For example in the screenshot below, you may start by laying out the task: “I work 9-5pm. I want you to create a schedule with three meetings at 10:00, 12:00, and 2:30.”

Then, you can use a follow-up prompt to provide additional context and details, such as a built-in lunch period between meetings two and three, a possible fourth meeting at 4:00, and individual time for research at 11:30. Help the chatbot understand your goal and scenario. If you do that, you are more likely to get the desired result as seen below.

Custom work schedule

Crafting Effective Prompts

Because chatbots are trained on human responses, an effective chatbot prompt uses natural language. 

Think of it as you are giving clear, concise directions to a new coworker or intern in your office. AI chatbots are still learning the ‘mechanics’ of our tasks in the same way a rookie in the office might be, so give it the clearest direction possible. To do that, be sure to include keywords that provide context. 

At first, it might feel like you are over-explaining and this may feel awkward. However, one of the most common responses from a chatbot when first learning to prompt effectively is some variation of the phrase, “I would love to provide more information! Any additional context can help me complete your task more effectively.” 

A tip to provide more context if you feel like you have given everything you can is to lay out the history of your problem. In the example of creating a custom schedule, this could be you explaining to the chatbot why you need a new schedule created, how you have gone about creating ones in the past, or what your past schedules have included. All this information can be helpful for AI to understand the full nature of your task, which will help it create a better output for you. 

When comparing a strong chatbot prompt to a weak one, it is easy to differentiate the two. The example prompt above about the pet grooming service would be an example of a strong prompt. It includes a role (marketing manager), the task (create a social media post), tone (catchy, friendly, relatable), and the goal (attract attention to the account and the store). 

A weak one might simply be, “Provide me with a social media post to market my pet grooming business.” The chatbot will certainly spit out a marketing message, but it will not be tailored to your needs. The weak prompt provides no context, role, tone, or call to action. 

Another way to make a prompt more effective is to use a back-and-forth approach. This simply involves using many follow-up prompts to fine-tune the result. Recall the analogy to training a new intern. The back-and-forth approach allows the AI to search one query at a time to give the most accurate response to the prompts. 

Ethical Considerations in Prompting

As mentioned, AI is trained on human inputs, so misinformation is also a concern. Make sure you cross reference any information given by the chatbot to ensure accuracy.

And because AI learns from users’ responses, your data could be reviewed by humans at the chatbot’s parent company–think Google and Microsoft. Do not give out personal information or passwords to a chatbot. 

Although it might feel like you are talking to a robot, it is important to remember that there are human employees on the other end who may review your prompts to better train their AI systems.

Ready, Set, Prompt!

Great AI chatbot prompts include the desired role, tone, purpose, and a specific call to action. Do not be afraid to use follow-up prompts to achieve the coveted final product. Once the chatbot provides what you need, you can always copy the response and add your own finishing touches, such as an address, business hours, or contact information.

So, which AI tool should you use? Each chatbot has its strengths. Here are a couple you could start with:

  • ChatGPT is usually quick to respond and is effective at providing natural-sounding outputs.
  • Microsoft’s CoPilot is great for schedule planning and fact-checking. 
  • Google’s Gemini is trained on Google data, meaning it is diverse and multifaceted. 

No matter which one you choose, implementing these prompting tips will make the process much easier. Chatbots are yet another tool you can use to aid your work in this ever-changing digital space. 

Looking for more help? Download our free resource on AI prompting.

Contact us at Proof Digital if you would like to find out how AI and chatbots can grow your business. 

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