Surefire Way to Lose Your Audience’s Trust

One way I’ve seen speakers break the trust of their audience is by mentioning their own products without heeding the following advice:

Mention OPP First

OPP stands for Other Peoples’ Products.

What do you think happens to an audience when they see a speaker who just keeps mentioning his own products? Exactly, the audience feels he only has his own best interest in mind. Now, what do you think happens to an audience when they hear a speaker who mentions valuable books and resources that are not his own? Chances are it has the following effects:

  • The audience feels the speaker has their (the audience members) best interest in mind and this builds the all-important trust you must have with your audience.


  • The speaker gains credibility too because the audience knows he has studied this subject and they feel this is only the tip of the iceberg of what he knows about the topic.


  • It deepens the connection with some audience members who have already read those books or consumed those resources. So the speaker uncovers advocates in the audience.


  • The audience members probably want to bring him back to hear more of what he knows.


So it’s okay to mention your own products but just make sure you mention other peoples’ products (and resources) first.

How do you mention Other Peoples’ Products?

I believe the best way to mention OPP is through your own stories. Why? Because your audience not only hears the titles but they understand what these books and resources have done for you. Then they realize these same books can have a similar effect of them. For example, listen to this quick audio clip of me integrating three books into one of my stories and sharing what they’ve done for me.  

[audio:|titles=Three Books ]

After every speech wherein I’ve told this story, I never fail to have a few audience members approach me and say, “Hey, what were the names of those three books you mentioned about imagination?” I love this because if they go out and buy those books (Creative Visualization; Passion, Profit, and Power; and The Power of Your Subconscious Mind) I am still touching their lives! That’s awesome. Think about it. If they follow your lead and get those resources, what does that say about the level of trust they’ve placed in you?

Here’s another quick audio clip of me mentioning OPP

[audio:|titles=More books ]

Mentioning these resources (Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and The Road Less Traveled) within the natural flow of your story is the most non-intrusive way of handling it. It’s organic because the reality is, the resources are part of what made you who you are. It’s part of your story that can now become part of theirs.


One Crucial Understanding You Must Have When Mentioning OPP

If you mention OPP and suggest that others invest in it, make sure you’ve actually read or consumed the resource. Why? Because people will want to discuss it with you.

It’s just like using quotations in your speech. If you use a famous quotation by a famous person that you’ve never read anything about, you just might be shooting yourself in the foot? Why? Because in every audience, there seems to be an expert on the person you mentioned. What if she approaches you afterwards and says, “I’m so glad you quoted Mark Twain. I’ve been studying him for the past 15 years and I just love his stories. Remember when he…” Now, this is fine if you can hold a conversation about Mark Twain. You don’t need to be an expert. However, if all you know about him is the quotation you just gave, you’ve lost your credibility with that audience member and with anyone else who was listening to that conversation. Here’s the key:

Always know much more about your topic than you can possibly share in one speech

My rule of thumb is to make sure I have read at least one book on a person (or by a person) before I quote him or her.

Again, once you’ve mentioned OPP, it’s fine to slip in one of yours. To see how best to do this, click here.

Craig Valentine

Leave a Reply 4 comments