How to write a good drafting prompt for OpenAI’s ChatGPT, GPT-3 and GPT-4 models?
Writing a good prompt is the key to getting a good result from GPT for Sheets. And the key to writing a good prompt is to be very specific about what you want. You basically should prompt exactly like you would brief people to do the job, by providing clear instructions and ample context.
As much as you can, you should provide the following information in your prompt:
Tell it what you want to get. This should be composed of at least a verb and a noun.
- Task: write a cold email
- Task: write a blogpost
- Task: write 5 taglines
- Task: summarize in 3 paragraphs
- Task: translate from English to Spanish
- Task: create a tweet thread of 10 tweets
There are many more options for the output that you can think of: cover letter, job description, product description, speech, outline, poem, song, review, response, facebook primary test, testimonial, social proof, follow-up email, tiktok caption, paper abstract, google ad copy…
Note: you can replace Task by Question in some cases if it makes more sense
Tell it what should be the main topic of your text.
- Topic: sell a shampoo
- Topic: an ice-cream shop
- Topic: food in Ancient Rome
Don’t hesitate to be highly specific.
The style you want your text to be in.
- Style: casual
- Style: formal
- Style: business
- Style: creative
- Style: academic
Other examples include informal, scholar, convincing, high-converting, legal, medical…
The tone of your text:
- Tone: joyful
- Tone: angry
- Tone: funny
- Tone: serious
- Tone: excited
- Tone: sad
Other examples would include assertive, sympathetic, romantic, etc Many to choose from.
Who is this text for:
- Audience: 5-year old
- Audience: teenager who likes rock music
- Audience: my boss
- Audience: topic expert
This will make it easier for GPT to find the right words and level of abstraction.
The length can be expressed in any unit.
GPT is not great with numbers so it’s good to be overly precise about what you want here if you have a hard limit.
- Length: 4 paragraphs
- Length: 250 words
- Length: strictly under 30 characters including spaces
Include any other parameter or instruction that is useful to you
- Country: X
- Product: door bell
- Relate recipient job title to the user selling proposition
- Sign as XYZ
- Start with xxx
- Include references to X, Y and Z
Putting it all together
The task parameter is the only one that is not optional, as obviously without it GPT won’t know what to do.
Your full prompt should thus look something like this:
Task: write 5 taglines Topic: a car shop Style: funny Tone: excited City: New York Length: strictly under 100 characters including spaces
The great thing is that Sheets and Docs being text editors, they make it extremely easy to write a good prompt, that you can then use with our add-on very straightforwardly:
How it looks like in GPT for Sheets
If you require an output format that is really specific, you should specify it:
- Format: HTML
- Format: JSON
- Format: markdown
Other examples include YAML, XML, JSON-LD…
While GPT can sometimes understand multi-lingual prompts, or generate a response in a different language from the prompt language, it is highly recommended to write your prompt in the language that you expect your response to be in.