The topic of ChatGPT is certainly a polarizing one, and I get some negative push-back on it's use, along with a lot of positive feedback.
One of the biggest criticisms I hear is that ChatGPT can never produce output that is as high quality and authentic as their own writing. Today I won't try to convince you the critics are wrong (they are), but instead share a powerful tip to address this concern.
Also, this power tip will help improve the quality of your chat conversations. If you are new to ChatGPT you might have experienced that sometimes, the results are mind-blowing, and sometimes... not so much.
Well today, I'm going to share a tip called "seeding" that can address both concerns:
- Ensure your own thoughts are included
- Help level up your your ChatGPT responses from "meh" to "mind-blowing".
So what is "Seeding"?
ChatGPT is a great assistant, but sometimes it needs a little direction. Also although may seem like it sometimes, it's not a mind-reader. So if you have some specific output details in mind, you want to let it know.
To do this, you inject--or "seed"--your desired details into your prompt. Seeding provides a much better starting point that nudges ChatGPT in the direction you want.
When you seed your prompts or questions with more context, background, or even a particular style, you're setting the stage for a more tailored and relevant response. It's like providing the breadcrumbs for ChatGPT to follow
Why Does It Matter?
You might be wondering, "Why can't I just ask ChatGPT whatever and expect it to figure it out?" Well, sometimes you might do just that if you want to start from a blank sheet and let it help you brainstorm. But sometimes you already know the important points of what you want to say. A well-seeded prompt can steer the conversation in a direction that's not just meaningful but also highly relevant to your needs.
I like to think of this as the "noun and verbs". I know the specific points I want to communicate, but I want ChatGPT to help me convert that to engaging and grammatically appealing text. So I'm not staring at a blank screen or taking hours to compose.
To show you what I mean, here's an example. I have been working on creating a large set of updated training lessons. Each one takes a substantial amount of time, starting with the script. I pretty much know exactly what I want to say but it's still an exhausting task.
So to make it easier, this is an example prompt I used, seeded with exactly what I wanted:
I want you to act as the world’s best productivity coach and write a script for a training video about the topic: “your unique superpower”. The main theme of the script is to get really clear on what your best business or people skill is. The tone of the script should be informal and engaging.
The script must contain all these points:
1. Everyone has a superpower, including you
2. There is something that comes naturally to you, but feels really hard or impossible to someone else.
3. Your superpower is almost always something that sparks joy in some way at a deep level. Even if it doesn't always feel that way.
4. We are often to close to ourselves to recognize our superpower.
5. Or sometimes we think we're amazing at 10 things.
6. But others see it clearly and recognize our true best, unique superpower
7. So, you are going to use your people to help identify it. Using a Unique Capability Survey, or UCS
The result was ChatGPT produced some really relevant output, which sounded like me (because the points were mine), and required much less editing.
There are other ways to seed, like setting the tone and style, but I don't usually see this bullet point approach so I wanted to share that.
Also, here are some other quick tips for effective seeding:
1. **Be Specific**: The more detail you provide, the more tailored ChatGPT's response will be.
2. **Context Matters**: Give a bit of background info to guide the bot.
3. **Sequential Seeding**: If you’re looking for a multi-step answer, guide the conversation step-by-step.
4. **Rephrase If Needed**: If the first answer isn't perfect, tweak your seed and try again.
You can see I used #3 in my example and used numbering to enforce the order I wanted. You don't have to include the numbering. You can also use the numbering and delete it from your final version.
Are There Any Downsides?
Not really. But here are a couple of notes:
- While seeding is excellent, don't go overboard with too much detail; it's sometimes possible to confuse the AI engine. But that usually happens with a long, confusing prompt--not sequential seeding.
- Be careful to not always bias the output. You might limit the bot's creative potential. The key is to find that sweet spot between vague and hyper-specific.
Start experimenting! The next time you interact with ChatGPT, play around with seeding your questions. Be more specific, provide context, or ask for responses in a particular style. It's like having a cheat code for better, more accurate answers.
And hey, if you discover some brilliant seeding strategies or get amazing results, drop me a message--I'd love to hear about it.
Happy seeding, y'all! 🌱