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The 5 prompt engineering tactics all pro GPT creators need to use

· 7 min read
Kirill Demochkin
Yuriy Natarov

hintloop | how to make better prompts

Learn How to Write Better Prompts

We talked to pro GPT builders about prompt engineering and here are the 5 most popular prompting tips we learned. Prompt engineering is as much art as it is science, and many GPT builders spend hours fruitlessly trying to get the GPT to do what they need. Read this guide to learn prompt engineering tactics that will help you create popular GPTs.

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1: Write Clear and Direct Instructions

Creating GPTs is very different from writing code since you don't have direct control over the ouput of the chatbot. One way to improve the ability of GPTs to follow instructions is by writing prompts that are clear and direct.

Prompting Tip - 1

Instead of:

You should try to understand whether it is a good idea to ask the user for additional information.


If you can't answer a request, ask the user for additional information.

Writing prompts in an If X, do Y format helps the GPT follow the instructions more reliably depending on what the user says in her messages.

2: Repeat Important Instructions

While testing your GPT, you will likely run into a situation when it refuses to follow your instructions no matter how to-the-point you wrote them. Fighting for control with your GPT is always frustrating and time consuming. Keep in mind that ChatGPT is a machine learning model, and it does not have a personal vendetta against you. It simply outputs tokens based on the input text. An easy way to influence the output of ChatGPT is to repeat the same instruction several times with different words.

Prompting Tip - 2

Repeat important instructions:

When the user asks you to generate code, reply with the finished code in a codeblock.
When you answer you always write the entire code that can be used without any changes.
You always output the complete code.

Repetitions give additional weight to the instruction and make it more likely for ChatGPT to pay attention to it when generating the response.

3: Give Your GPT a Personality

You GPT needs a personality, seriously. Truth be told, unless a GPT uses an extensive knowledge base or custom actions, it can't do anything the base ChatGPT can't. What sets the pro GPT creators apart is their attention to user experience tailored for the specific scenarios of their assitants. One way to greatly improve the user experience of a GPT and differentiate it from competitors is to give it a unique personality. Your users are much more likely to remember your GPT and come back to it if you can evoke an emotion in them during a chat with your GPT. Make your GPT quirky or serious, jovial or pessimistic, just, please, don't make it bland.

Prompting Tip - 3

Ideas for GPT personalities

  1. You are an optimistic tech enthusiast. You see the potential in all innovation to be huge for humanity.
  2. You are an analytical spectic. You only trust in logic and never make assumptions that can not be proved with data.
  3. You are a philosopher. You don't directly answer questions, you ask more questions that lead the user to the answer.

4: Do Not Ask the GPT to Be Smarter

This tip is pretty simple. You can influence the vocabulary that ChatGPT uses to write its answers. E.g. asking to ELI5 a complex subject will lead a much simpler response than asking to answer as a professional in subject X. What you most certainly can not do is make ChatGPT "smarter" by asking it to be a "super-intelligent AI" or "an assistant with superhuman capabilities". The hard truth is that the capabilities ChatGPT model used in GPTs are hard limited by the data it was trained on. So no matter how much you ask, it will not become GPT-5 because of a prompt. If you want to make a specialized GPT that is "smarter" than the base model on a specific task, your best bet is to utilize a knowledge base with domain-specific data and few-shot prompting with relevant examples.

Prompting Tip - 4

To make your GPT "smarter" for a specific task

  1. Use a specialized knowledge base with domain-specific information
  2. Use few shot prompting with relevant example answers

5: List the Steps Required to Solve the Task

ChatGPT is better at solving tasks when it is following a step-by-step plan. Reasoning and Acting (ReAct) prompting is one of the fundamental techniques used in Generative AI Agents. With ReAct prompting a GPT is asked to come up with a plan to solve a task, and use the plan to actually solve a task step-by-step. For example, if you want ChatGPT to help you book an airline ticket to your favorite vacation spot. Booking an airline ticket involves several steps like researching the prices for different dates, comparing different routes, etc. To insure ChatGPT stays on task, you can ask it to write a step-by-step plan to book a ticket and use that plan to complete the task. The same idea applies to other tasks like learning a cooking recipe, solving a math problem, or desining a logo. The reality is that ChatGPT might very realistically output a nonsensical plan that does not lead to a satisfying solution. You can reap the benefits of ReAct prompting and avoid the pitfalls of hallucination by providing the step-by-step plan yourself. The less you leave to interpretation, the better (remember the first tip on this list).

Prompting Tip - 5

Give your GPT a step-by-step plan to follow. Example plan for suggesting a recipe:

  1. Greet the user
  2. Ask the user what kind of meal they want to cook
  3. Ask the user about their food allergies
  4. Ask the user how much time they are willing to spend cooking this meal
  5. Ask the user to choose one of three options of meals
  • Each option must not contain ingredients they are allergic to
  • Each option must be within the time limits provided
  • Each option must be relevant to the user's preferences
  1. Generate the recipe for the chosen meals
  • Subsitute any ingredients that the user is allergic to
  • Ensure the preparation time is within the time constraints provided by the user.
  1. Print the recipe and note any changes you made

Optionally, ask ChatGPT to adapt the plan before replying.

Bonus: Structure Instructions for Easier Editing

Whether this is your first GPT or your tenth, you will inevitably come back to edit and refine the prompt. Group instructions into functional blocks (greeting, step-by-step plan, answer format, etc) and semantic sections (information about the task, role description, etc) and your future self will thank you when you need to update the prompt for a new idea you are testing.

Prompting Tip - Bonus

Group instruction into:

  1. Functional blocks (greeting, step-by-step plan, answer format, etc)
  2. Semantic sections (information about the task, role description, etc)


In this guide you learned prompting tips that pro GPT creators use to make GPTs that get many chats. When you are making a GPT, remember to:

  1. Write clear and direct instructions
  2. Repeat important instructions
  3. Give your GPT a personality
  4. Not ask the GPT to be smarter
  5. List the steps required to solve the task
  6. Structure instructions for easier editing

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