Ask about Paul de Gelder
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Key Points
  • In February 2009 while on Navy exercise in Sydney Harbor, Paul de Gelder lost two limbs.
  • Former Australian Defence Forces Army Paratrooper and Navy Clearance Diver.
  • His inspiring story of recovery is detailed in his autobiography No Time for Fear.
  • He has been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S.
Topics
  • No time for fear
  • Improvise, adapt, overcome
Testimonials

Entertaining, informative, inspirational, relevant. 
3 RAR

Paul was an excellent speaker, he quickly developed a strong rapport with the audience and was able to effectively deliver his messages with an energised, humorous, and considered approach.
St Peters Girls School, Adelaide

Extremely well received, very motivational, we’ve had a lot of speakers over the years at events and Paul has been rated amongst the best of them across every state.
Choice Aggregation Services

Paul de Gelder has an incredible story to tell. It is a story of overwhelming odds, brilliantly overcome through hard work, gutsy determination, and a great sense of humour. I knew in an instant that I needed Paul to tell his story to the Divers of the United States Navy.  His effortless charm and engaging manner reels you in for the most motivating ride of your life. A man is not defined by what happens to him, he is defined by how he handles it. That makes Paul a most remarkable man!
United States Navy
Supervisor of Diving

From the moment I met Paul in his hospital bed, I knew I was privileged. Horrendously mauled and recovering from such drastic surgery... I was overwhelmed by his aura, his positive outlook and his will to live. In eight years of reporting for 60 Minutes, Paul, without question is one of the most inspirational human beings I have met! Everyone, whoever they are, can learn so much from Paul... I know I have.
Peter Overton, Reporter
60 Minutes

Paul is an inspiration for many reasons, his obvious tenancy to recover physically from such a horrific attack, through to his unswerving passion and commitment towards his profession coupled with his generous, warm, infectious persona. Paul shared openly in regards to his life as a clearance diver through to the day of the attack and the events that followed. But what really stood out for me personally was when Paul shared the very real and defining moment that carried with it a choice; the choice to succumb to the pain and severity of his situation or to fight for his much loved old life back. His strength and will, only just out shine his humour and light heartedness, qualities that undoubtedly carried him through his darkest times. The impact and lasting impression he has made upon my groups and me personally is remarkable and I am blessed to call him friend.
Customer Co-ordinator
Freshstart Australia

Paul's presentation was definitely the highlight of our conference. He spoke very well and the feedback I have from the staff was fantastic, they were very inspired and touched by his story. Some of the staff wouldn't let him leave as they had so many questions. He did a fantastic job and I only hope he continues to share his story.
EA to Acting Director Aligned Channels Business Development
AMP Limited

I wish to thank you for your attendance at today’s successful 2011 Salvation Army breakfast. Your speech was inspirational and motivating and I believe contributed to the record number of attendees. Your story is inspirational and it is a reminder to al that nothing is insurmountable; congratulations on your achievements to date, I'm sure you'll continue to achieve success.
Managing Director
Brilliant Logic Pty Ltd

Paul was nothing short of outstanding. The feedback I have received was extremely positive. He was an inspiration.
Australian Network Entertainment 

Paul was excellent….I don’t think I have ever seen a group of boys aged 7-12 engaged for that length of time. The content was perfect and targeted the audience. I have had a lot of positive feedback from the staff and boys. I actually had 2 sons in the audience (8yrs old and 11 yrs old) and Paul was definitely the topic of conversation in our house all weekend!!! Thanks!
The Scots College, Sydney

I saw you speak today in Melbourne and just wanted to say how much you impacted me. I was unable to speak to my work colleague for at least 20 minutes after because of the lump in my throat. I am a single mum with two boys and rushed back to Sydney to show your video to my boys. I believe it is important for them to understand to never ever give up. I am also a believer in - have a bad day, have a cry, feel sorry for yourself and then move on. You are truly inspirational. I saw you walk out of the conference room but didn't have the courage to come and say hello. If I ever see you on the streets of Sydney I will not make the same mistake twice. Thanks for enriching my life. 
Conference Delegate

I saw you yesterday at the NIBA convention session in Sydney. You were great to listen to! So great to hear your story. Thanks for taking the time to come out.
Conference Delegate

Our delegates found Paul to be truly inspiring.
Leishman @ Associates, Hobart

Paul was a standout keynote speaker at our conference. He used his story powerfully to communicate the key messages aligned to the focus of our conference. More importantly, it was obvious he was aware of his audience and successfully related well with them. It was great to see him interact with the audience after his talk. Quite a lot of speakers leave once they have completed their talk but he stuck around and we couldn’t been more grateful. Paul is a great guy and I sincerely recommend him.
Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Our school community has been raving about how good Paul’s presentation was at our Speech Night last week. His manner and presentation of his amazing story was well received by the entire school community. He was excellent.
Deputy Principal
Geraldton Grammar School

I just wanted to send you a quick note. I was in the GPT audience up at the Crown in the Hunter... Can I just start with, you are a particularly inspiring guy Paul and I feel quite privileged to have been to one of your talks.
GPT Conference, Newcastle N.S.W

During our conference we spoke about our culture and the need for people to step outside their comfort zone and take responsibility and not blame, justify or deny as an excuse for things not happening. You are an inspirational living example of the achievement culture we aspire to.
GPT Conference, Newcastle N.S.W

Just a short e-mail to pass on our sincere thanks for Paul’s time in presenting to our people. We know that it’s a big ask to come all this way for a relatively small company. He did a fantastic job and the feedback from our people constantly describes him as inspirational.
Human Resources Manager
Newcastle Coal

Paul was the perfect key note speaker for our conference. His amazing story touched the hearts of all our delegates. It also has motivated them personally and professionally. The delegates are still talking about his presentation weeks later. Paul is also an excellent presenter and has loads of charisma to engage the audience. I would definitely recommend him for any event.  
Manager - Advice
Professional Investment Services Ltd, Singapore

Paul’s presentation inspired everyone in the room from the (BASDN Group) Bosch Authorised Service Dealer Network for his achievements before and after his shark attack, this gave us so much more courage that people need not to give up a goal in your life. 
Bosch Authorised Service Dealer Network, Hamilton Island

Our Sports Lunch was a huge success – in fact the best yet on every level. Many of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the brutal honesty and the positive message conveyed by Paul during his presentation.
Executive Assistant to CEO
Southport Sharks

Paul was fabulous. He delivered his story in a humble yet energetic fashion without the usual motherhood statements and cliché catch-cries, e.g. you can do anything if you put your mind to it and the like. A lovely man who won over the audience with his boyish charm and human approach.
Sumar Events

Paul delivered a fantastic presentation with strong the ability to align his story of determination, being positive and team collaboration to our people currently going through a tough business integration. I’ve been really impressed by Paul on both occasions that I’ve seen him present.
General Manager
Marketing (StarTrack)2

Paul was an engaging and interesting speaker. How he has dealt with adversity in his life, worked perfectly alongside the theme we had for our conference. He tailored his presentation to his audience and was also very honest when answering all the questions that his presentation provoked. 75% of those that attended rated Paul’s presentation as ‘excellent’ and 20% as ‘good’. Great presentation and I would definitely recommend him.
National Operations Co-ordinator
M&T Resources

I wish to thank you for your attendance at today’s successful 2011 Salvation Army breakfast. Your speech was inspirational and motivating and I believe contributed to the record number of attendees. Your story is inspirational and it is a reminder to al that nothing is insurmountable; congratulations on your achievements to date, I'm sure you'll continue to achieve success.
Managing Director
Brilliant Logic Pty Ltd

'Exceptional' was the word for him!!!
Managing Director
Great Expectation Speakers – Queensland Insurance Brokers

Paul has accomplished something that all other speakers have failed to accomplish with our students. He has shown a clear delineation between EGO and SPIRIT. He obviously survived with his ego for so long before experiencing the life threatening event that confronted his mortality. He had a genuine conversation with the students that set up a trusting rapport which had them absorbing the story as though it was their own!
Social Justice Coordinator
St Pius X College

Paul was incredible. He has such an amazing presence and is so friendly and down to earth. I specifically did not want someone who would go into a motivational dialogue but whose story would naturally give this message and Paul’s story was ideal... Paul’s energy and aura is very powerful, not surprising given what he has risen above. It was a pleasure to meet him and I am so grateful to you and him for going out of your way to make the change in our program work for us.
Australian Glass & Glazing Association, Hobart

Thank you so much for your contribution to Q-COMP's Return to work Conference Expo and Awards at the Brisbane Convention Centre on 30 October. Your presentation contributed towards a very successful event for us, and was highly valued by the delegates, who have told us they took away some valuable insights and ideas for improving their return to work outcomes. Your story was a powerful inspiration to all our delegates.
Q-Comp

Thanks again for making oOH!media's staff conference last Friday the best one ever. We had our party at Luna Park directly after the conference and you were definitely the talk of the party for the entire night. You are an amazing character with an extraordinary story to tell. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you.
oOH!media Staff Conference

I would like to add my thanks to Paul for sharing his experiences with us. He is truly a remarkable and inspiring individual, even before his meeting with the shark and certainly after.
 Recruitment & Diversity, People and Performance Branch
Dept Transport & Infrastructure

I wanted to pass on my client’s sincere thanks for Paul’s assistance at their event last night. He was such a professional and when he spoke you could have heard a ‘pin drop’. He spoke to guests after his talk and everyone just raved about him.
Saxton Speakers Bureau for Perpetual Private

Excellent presentation and very down to earth. Paul kept the audience attention throughout - not an easy task. The detail of the operation performed was great. His motivation is amazing, I went straight home and down loaded his book. Lots of great feedback from the audience-they all enjoyed Paul’s presentation.
CEO
Calvary John James Hospital

Every single person who has commented on Paul from our lunch, has said that he was by far one of the best speakers they have ever heard. He received a standing ovation from our audience, and there were a few tears as well. I have already suggested that my firm use Paul for an engagement sometime this year. I would recommend him to anyone. He is incredible… and such a nice bloke!
Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club

Inspiring and engaging speaker. Paul captivated the audience - a truly humbling and amazing person. 
BUPA