The First Minister claimed the public's faith in his Government would prove the Nationalists' strongest suit in the remaining 11 months of the campaign.
He insisted trust in the Scottish Government had averted a firefighters' strike in Scotland and should be credited with signs of economic improvement, including rising employment, exports and inward investments.
The claim underpinned one of the key messages the SNP aim to promote during their last full gathering before the referendum - that Scotland faces a "choice of two futures" between Holyrood rule or a Westminster Government unaccountable to Scots.
Addressing delegates at Perth Concert Hall, Mr Salmond said: "As we go through this week and this coming year there is going to be a theme that I think is very much our strongest suit, and that's the question of trust, trust in the Scottish Government.
"The reason for our success in office is that people trust the Scottish Government to act in the best interests of Scotland."
He cited polling suggesting nearly four times as many Scots trusted the Scottish, rather than UK, Government to put Scotland first and majorities for handing Holyrood control over tax, welfare and pensions.
He added: "That is the natural majority which exists for Scottish independence. It exists in this land at the moment and I believe it will be reflected in a majority for Yes next September."
The SNP will use their annual conference, which runs until Sunday, to highlight the message that both sides in the referendum debate agree Scotland could be a viable independent country.
Ministers are expected to focus less on specific policies for an independent Scotland, with their White Paper, the detailed blueprint for how a split would work in practice, not due until next month.
Mr Salmond said: "No-one now denies the reality that Scotland has got what it takes to be an independent country.
"People in the No campaign cannot deny the economic viability and potential of people-talented, resource rich Scotland."
Referring to the pro-UK Better Together campaign as "Project Fear," he added: "When even the bitterest opponents of Scottish independence agree that Scotland has got what it takes, then it's clear the only thing people have to fear is 'Project Fear' itself."
However, he faced an angry reaction from the Better Together campaign after he quoted figures showing Scotland had more leading universities than any other country of its size, with three institutions in the world's top 100.
Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour's education spokeswoman speaking for the campaign, highlighted academics' fears over the future of higher education.
At a conference in Aberdeen, Professor Chris Hawkesworth, Vice-Principal of St Andrews University, said independence was "likely to significantly to disadvantage researchers in Scotland".
He warned: "The implication is that with time an independent Scotland would have one, rather than three, universities in the top 100."
Another academic, Rick Rylance, chairman of Research Councils UK, said that "separation would adversely impact this overall performance".
Ms Dugdale MSP said: "We are all proud of Scotland's world-leading universities, but Alex Salmond must be honest about the consequences of separation for higher education and research. Our universities benefit from disproportionately high levels of funding from UK Research Councils.
"Pooling and sharing our resources across the UK means Scotland's top universities can compete with the world's best. Why would we want to put this at risk?"
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: "Alex Salmond talks about trust. Perhaps people could trust him more if he told the truth about basic things such as having legal advice on Scotland's status in the EU even though he doesn't."