Guide to Writing Effective Google Bard Prompts

Guide to Writing Effective Google Bard Prompts

Many experts are already pointing to 2023 as the year artificial intelligence (AI) officially went mainstream. The seeds of the generative AI revolution were largely planted by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which set a record for the fastest-growing app in history within two months of its late 2022 release.

By March of 2023, OpenAI had scored a partnership with Microsoft to integrate ChatGPT-4 powered AI tools into the Bing search engine. Coincidentally, this was also the month when Google commenced initial test runs of its own AI model, Google Bard.

While Google Bard is still in its experimental stage, the AI chatbot is now freely available for users all over the world. We’ll explore what it can do and how to create Google Bard prompts that maximize the chatbot’s functionality.

Table of contents:

What is Google Bard?

Google Bard is a chatbot that serves as the interface layer for a large language model (LLM) called LaMDA. LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) is a type of generative AI specially designed for creating text that feels natural even in open-ended conversations.

Like OpenAI’s GPTs, LaMDA uses the transformer architecture—meaning LaMDA can map relationships between the meaning of words and how they are used in a sentence. This creates output that feels to the user coherent and contextual.

In plain English, Google Bard is an AI tool that you can interact with much like you would during a chat conversation with another online user. But while Bard has plenty of handy use cases, Google is the first to remind users that it can make mistakes.

In other words, Google Bard shouldn’t be relied on to do your work for you, replace an expert, or consult about important decisions. That said, you can use Bard to do plenty of other things, such as:

  • Generate rough text and drafts of content based on AI prompts
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Translate languages
  • Summarize web pages or other content
  • Generate research and data
  • Find online shopping deals
  • Automatically transcribe images of handwritten notes
  • Identify objects (not people) by uploading a photo

Google Bard also offers optional extensions that can connect to your Google account. If you choose to use them, Bard will be able to fetch information from any other apps attached to the same account, such as Gmail or Google Docs.

Google has stated that information in Gmail, Google Docs, and Drive will not be used to train Bard’s “public” model. However, anytime you input information into a generative AI model, you should be aware of the data lifecycle and custody chain.

The information you give Bard will move through cloud servers, be stored and analyzed, and possibly used to train things other than Bard’s “public” model. If you handle sensitive, proprietary, or personally identifying information, you should take the necessary steps to safeguard your data and follow the best practices for your industry.

But if you’re comfortable sharing information with Google Bard, you can use it as a starting point for research, or to access real-time travel tools like maps or hotel and flight bookings. To try Bard, simply head over to bard.google.com.

What is a Google Bard prompt?

Much like ChatGPT prompts, Google Bard prompts come in a wide range of formats. If this is your first interaction with AI, think of an opening prompt as the first sentence in a conversation.

You might ask a question, give an instruction, or include examples to help provide context. Unlike Google Search, which can point you in the direction of relevant links, Google Bard is designed to generate answers in a conversational way.

In addition to typing your prompts, you can also use the voice-to-text option to speak to Bard, much like you would interact with Alexa. If you’d like Bard to read its response out loud, just click the audio button that will appear alongside it.

You can also rate each of Bard’s responses with a thumbs up or thumbs down, ask the chatbot to modify them, or ask additional questions for clarification. Bard’s answers tend to be thorough and arranged in sections or bullet points.

Bard’s features were designed to make the chatbot accessible to beginners and experienced AI users alike. But while testing its features is a good starting point, learning to craft effective prompts is the key to figuring out how to use Bard to streamline your workflow.

Best practices for writing Google Bard prompts

Unlike GPT models, Google Bard is designed specifically to create a conversational experience. But much like any other conversationalist, the quality of its responses will largely be based on how much information you provide. Here are some tips on how to create Google Bard prompts that maximize the AI chatbot’s potential.

Be specific and clear

Given the conversational nature of Bard, imagining it as an assistant can help you feel more comfortable with the process. Rather than typing in a few keywords as you might on Google Search, try to get more specific about what you’d like Bard to do.

Action verbs like “write,” “summarize,” “create,” or “analyze” tend to be great starting points. From there, describe your question or instructions as clearly as possible. You can even include web links, bullet points, or content that you’d like it to interact with or analyze.

Imagine, for instance, that you wanted to learn more about Midjourney, an AI program that generates images from text. Simply entering “What’s Midjourney?” could yield an overly vague response.

Instead, you might try a more specific prompt like, “Summarize what the Midjourney AI program can do.” If you’re already somewhat familiar with the program, you could try a prompt like “Create a step-by-step guide that describes how to use the Midjourney AI program.”

Include relevant context

Any question can be harder to answer if you’re not sure who’s asking it or why. Providing Google Bard with a little context can go a long way toward helping it provide the best answer for your situation.

Here are examples of two different prompts, each with its own context:

  • Prompt 1. “I'm studying string theory in an advanced college course. Summarize it in 200 words or less.”
  • Prompt 2. “I'm a teacher who wants to explain string theory to a class of fourth graders. Summarize it in 200 words or less.”

While both prompts ask similar questions, Bard uses very different language to create answers for the audience specified in each. Its answer to the first prompt included phrases like “quantum mechanics” and “subatomic particles.”

It answered the second prompt using language like “super-duper tiny vibrating strings” and “secret sideways dance.”

Try to create prompts with as much context as you’d use when having a conversation with a human assistant to increase the odds that Bard will generate a relevant answer.

Clarify intent

Bard’s responses can both answer questions and also create content in a wide variety of lengths and formats. To improve the output, ask for exactly what you need by using prompts like:

  • “Generate a 500-word article on [topic]”
  • “Create a resume template for [type of professional]”
  • “Write a comprehensive guide on how to [subject]”
  • “Summarize the key points of this article [paste the link]”
  • “Draft 1,000-word newsletter on [subject]”
  • “Write a demo script that showcases the uses of [product]”

Once you're satisfied with Bard’s response, you can click the “share” button above the prompt box. It will give you the option to export the response to Google Docs or Gmail.

Clarify intent

Customize tone and style

Another feature of Google Bard is being able to customize the tone and style of its responses. Try using adjectives to tell it what type of voice you’d like it to use. Here are some example prompts to help demonstrate this technique in action:

  • “Write a romantic poem about [subject]”
  • “Create a journalistic press release to announce [event]”
  • “Generate a professional cover letter I can customize to apply to this job: [paste job description]”
  • “Create a friendly email I can use to reach out to my son’s teacher about [subject]”

You can even ask for Bard’s responses to be generated from different viewpoints or in the style of famous authors. Try creating prompts along these lines:

  • “Write a 200-word sonnet about [subject] in the style of Shakespeare“
  • “You are a firefighter. Tell a group of school kids about your job.”
  • “Create an opening for a story in the style of Ernest Hemingway.”
  • “You are a famous fashion designer. Tell me about the latest fall trends.”

Just be sure to keep in mind that no matter how authentic Bard may sound, there’s no substitute for an actual expert like a doctor or financial professional. Additionally, make sure you always fact-check any content it generates before publishing to avoid errors.

Do not include sensitive or proprietary information

Don’t assume that what’s said between you and Bard will stay between you and Bard. It’s worth checking out Google’s Bard privacy policy to gain a thorough understanding of how your data will be collected and used.

While the policy is a bit wordy, it's explicit about the fact that any conversations you have with Bard can be saved and are subject to review by a human. The bottom line is that Bard is still in its experimental stage, and Google is constantly reviewing its performance to make it better.

Be aware that even though you can adjust your privacy settings to “auto-delete,” there’s still a chance that your data may be collected and reviewed. As a rule, approach Bard with the same caution you would when posting on social media and steer away from sharing any info you wouldn’t want someone else to read.

Additionally, keep in mind that your data will be saved and could be used to train future versions of Bard. This could result in your information being given as output to someone else’s prompt. For this reason, you should avoid mentioning sensitive information, and also customize any AI-generated content you intend to publish.

Sequence and experiment

Much like any other piece of technology, Google Bard comes with a bit of a learning curve. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different prompts and see which techniques generate the best responses.

One of the perks of its conversational-style is that if it doesn’t produce the answer you want the first time, you can always ask more specific follow-up questions to lead it in the right direction. Additionally, keep in mind that Bard itself is still in an experimental stage and is working through kinks of its own.

If you find yourself stuck, try checking out prompts by other writers for ideas. In the next section, we’ll help you get started with a sample prompts list of our own.

Google Bard prompt examples

Google Bard can be a useful tool for individuals and professionals in a wide range of different industries. Throughout the following sections, you’ll find a collection of prompts we created using the best practices outlined above.

Feel free to customize and make them your own! We also included screenshots of Bard’s responses to help you get a better idea of what it can do.

Prompts for teachers

“You are a time-traveling historian. Create a short story about visiting ancient Rome for my second-grade class.”

“Create a Jeopardy-style game about Shakespeare for high school students.”

“Design a lesson plan for middle schoolers about the periodic table of elements that incorporates multiple learning strategies.”

“Create a list of classic literature summer reading recommendations for my eighth grade English class.”

“Generate a 100-word story starter in the style of Edgar Allen Poe that I can assign my students to finish.”

Business prompts

“Analyze the organic clothing industry and identify any gaps my business may be able to fill.”

“Translate the following product description to Spanish: ABC cleaning product uses the latest cleaning technology to remove residue and leave your home looking spotless."

“Create a freelance writer resume template.”

“Generate product ideas for my pet accessory company based on current industry trends.”

“I want to hire a remote content writer for my SaaS company. Generate a LinkedIn job post description template.”

Marketing prompts

“I just opened an Etsy shop that sells trendy customized gift cards. Outline a digital marketing strategy for increasing sales.”

“Generate SEO title ideas for a blog about parenting tips for working moms.”

“Create a customer persona for a product designed to naturally enhance focus.”

“Outline a social media strategy designed to increase brand awareness among Gen Z customers.”

“Write a welcome email for new subscribers to my weekly gaming blog.”

Web development prompts

“Compare and contrast the pros and cons of different front-end frameworks like React and Angular.”

“Create a list of new and innovative strategies I can use to optimize my website’s performance.”

“Create a website redesign strategy tailored to help convert more qualified leads into paying customers.”

“Analyze this bug in my code and generate advice on how to fix it:  System.out.println(Hello World);”

“Generate creative ideas I can use to design a landing page for an insurance agency that stands out from the competition.”

Research prompts

"Summarize the key arguments and conclusions of the latest IPCC report on climate change."

“Discuss the evolution of artificial intelligence and its ethical implications."

“Summarize the latest breakthroughs in the biomedical industry.”

"Simplify Newton’s laws of motion and provide real-world applications."

“Suggest topics for a college paper on 18th-century Vienna.”

Personal prompts

“Create a menu for a 1920s-themed dinner party.”

“List the best hotels in New York City for families with two young children.”

“Invent a hilarious game I can play at my next family reunion.”

“Suggest a list of historical mystery fiction books with a strong female lead.”

“Create a 30-day Adobe Illustrator graphic design challenge with a new project each day.”

Find AI specialists on Upwork

Need help using Google Bard to achieve optimal results for your goals? Upwork is home to a wide range of independent Google Bard specialists and prompt engineers for hire.

If you are an independent professional who is looking for your next job in the AI field, check out our job listings for Google Bard specialists or prompt engineer jobs. Clients from a variety of industries are in search of professionals who can help them navigate the exciting new possibilities of the world of AI.

Upwork is an OpenAI partner, giving OpenAI customers and other businesses direct access to trusted expert independent professionals experienced in working with OpenAI technologies.

Upwork does not control, operate, or sponsor the other tools or services discussed in this article, which are only provided as potential options. Each reader and company should take the time to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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Guide to Writing Effective Google Bard Prompts
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