A Persuasive Essay Topic Helps Sway Readers to Your Way of Thinking

Car Salesman

Face it, we encounter people almost daily who try to get us to see their way of thinking. Take car salespeople for instance. “Buy this car; it gets great miles to the gallon.” When looking at furniture, the sales representative will say, “Buy this sofa now. It’s comfortable, and the sale ends today.” The salesperson’s dialogue, although not talking about a persuasive essay topic, incorporates some of the same steps used in an essay to close the deal. 

Persuasion in short is the act of influencing others

What about you? How often do you try to convince someone of your line of thinking even without realizing it? You may go for a job interview. You may be asked by the interviewer what makes you the perfect candidate for the job. You put on your best persuasive hat, take a deep breath, and give it your best shot. Even when you need to borrow $20 from a friend, you give your best spiel. Sometimes you’re successful, other times you’re not.

Use These Steps For a Persuasive Essay Topic or Merely to Borrow Money From a Friend 

Borrowing money

The following steps will aid you in using the art of persuasion successfully: 

  • Find your voice and speak clearly. Be confident.
  • Get a feel for who you’re addressing. Tailor your message. Speak their language.
  • Listen to any objection or feedback. Actively listen. Respect their point of view.
  • Respond to any objections swiftly and with facts, such as statistics. Use tone, language, and presentation to your advantage. Maintain good eye contact.  
  • Be as credible as possible. Car salespeople and real estate agents dress professionally. Doctors wear white coats.

If you want to master the art of persuasion practice these steps and take note of successful advertisers. Of course, you’ll need to modify these steps, depending on who you’re trying to persuade. 

The following two essays are notably similar. You will need to know the difference.

Here's the Difference Between an Argumentative Essay Topic and a Persuasive Essay Topic

Essay Women

These two topics are similar, but there is a main difference:

Persuasive essays are most closely related to argumentative essays, in that both discuss a serious issue with logical arguments and offer conclusive resolutions. The main difference between a persuasive essay and an argumentative essay is that persuasive essays focus more on personal experience and appeal to emotions, whereas argumentative essays mostly stick to the facts. (Ellis)

Persuasive essays can be both a form of academic writing and personal writing. And it’s usually crafted in the first person.

Find more information about persuasive essays at  Grammarly

I was a member of Toastmasters, an International Organization geared toward helping people overcome the fear of public speaking. One of my assignments was to give a speech at a Toastmaster’s open house event to persuade people to join Toastmasters.

A persuasive essay topic that I gave to encourage people to become members of Toastmasters is titled Please Don’t Feed the Lions. Here it is:

Please Don’t Feed the Lions


Lions have teeth like daggers. Healthy adult male lions can weigh over 500 pounds and have claws like grappling hooks. Their roars can be heard up to five miles away, testifying to their formidable and expansive communication. 

Most sane people fear lions. If a lion were to appear in this room suddenly, we would start sweating, have a trembling voice, experience nausea, a dry mouth, and spaghetti legs. 

Interestingly enough, these are the same symptoms—in varying degrees—that many people exhibit when having to stand and give a speech before a group. Fear of public speaking tops the list of phobias from which North Americans suffer. 

But why is the fear of public speaking so prevalent?

According to Glenn Croston, Ph.D. and author of the book, “The Real Story of Risk,” the answer to this question may lie in our remote past, in our evolution as social animals.  

Croston states that humans evolved in a world filled with risks such as starvation and sharing the environment with fierce predators. One common defense to predation displayed by primates and other animals was to live in groups where members could alert each other to predators and help fight them off. 

The strength of a ruthless pride of lions is due to these major factors: 

  • Raw power and strategic cooperation 
  • Exceptional night vision
  • Swift agility
  • Sheer endurance
  • Intense combat ability

Alone, the animal would be unable to protect itself from predators, unable to garner enough food for itself, and it usually died within a short time. This led to humans and other large primates becoming social.

According to this theory, today, when faced with speaking before a group, we break into a sweat because we fear being ostracized by the social group. We still fear ostracism at a primal level, because not so long ago getting kicked out probably sounded the death knell.

So how do we conquer this frightful beast? How do we get the lions to stop roaring? One thing we must not do is feed the lions. Lions represent our fear of being ostracized. We feed into this when we focus on feeling panicked and paralyzed and do nothing about it. When you feed something, you make it stronger. Be careful what you feed.

I came to Toastmasters two and a half years ago because I had a great fear of public speaking.  Speaking before a group felt as though I was facing a pride of lions that were about to shred me like a document. 

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution in the area of self-improvement, I vowed to offload the burden of fear of public speaking.  Friends had told me about Toastmasters. They said that I could conquer my fright by giving speeches in front of, and receiving feedback from, encouraging and nurturing Toastmaster members who had walked in my shoes. I joined Toastmasters. It was one of the wisest decisions I ever made. It stopped the roar of the lions.   

Do you hear the roar of lions? Let Toastmasters help to quell it. Let Toastmasters become your wellspring from which a perpetual stream of self-confidence and a sense of freedom flow.

Accept Toastmasters’ offer today and get an early start on one of your New Year's Resolutions. Avoid the time thief of procrastination. Toastmasters is the door to your future. 

Feed into the opportunities that Toastmasters has for you. Feed into your self-growth. Feed into a plan to strengthen spaghetti legs. 

But please, don’t feed the lions!

This persuasive speech was successful in getting several people to sign up for membership in Toastmasters. If you wish to gain solid ground on the things you desire, you will need a persuasive essay topic with which to work. 

Developing the skill to persuade people to see your point of view can be your ace in the hole in tackling life's challenges, whether in essay writing or speaking before an audience. Going forth confidently, make your narrative persuasive, and watch as your words bring you the Yes that you desire.

“Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.” -Henry David Thoreau

Images created with Dream by Wombo

Ellis, Matt. 6 Successsful Persuasive Writing Strategies, Grammarly, 2 June 2022, www.grammarly.com/blog/persuasive-writing/.