Navy diver, shark attack survivor, author, motivational speaker

Paul is a top motivational speaker. Here’s what some clients had to say about him:


“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 humor. 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!”

Commander Michael Egan, 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


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.

Meredith Julliard, 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.

Lauren Taylor, 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.

Louise Duff, Managing Director, Brilliant Logic Pty Ltd


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

Gary Morrison, Australian Network Entertainment (Police Conference Mudgee, August 2011)


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

Nikki McCathie, The Scots College, Sydney (August 2011)


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. Thanks for enriching my life.

Wendy, Conference Delegate, September 2011


Our delegates found Paul to be truly inspiring.

Nicole Amato, Leishman @ Associates, Hobart, September 2011


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.

Gabriel Maciel, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, December 2011


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.

John Royce, Deputy Principal, Geraldton Grammar School, December 2011


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.

Delegate 1, GPT Conference, Newcastle N.S.W, March 2012


You are an inspirational living example of the achievement culture we aspire to.

Delegate 2, GPT Conference, Newcastle N.S.W, March 2012


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.

Julie Thomas, Human Resources Manager, Newcastle Coal, March 2012


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.

Melissa Lamb, Manager- Advice, Professional Investment Services Ltd, Singapore, March 2012


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.

John & Tina Paxos, Bosch Authorised Service Dealer Network, Hamilton Island, May 2012


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.

Esther Wills, Executive Assistant to CEO, Southport Sharks, Gold Coast, July 2012


Paul was fabulous. He delivered his story in a humble yet energetic fashion without the usual motherhood statements and cliché catch-cries, A lovely man who won over the audience with his boyish charm and human approach.

Mary Saldana, Sumar Events, Maroochydore, July 2012


Paul delivered a fantastic presentation with strong 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.

Shaun Patterson – General Manager, Marketing (StarTrack), Maroochydore, July 2012


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. Great presentation and I would definitely recommend him.

Kate Solomon, National Operations Co-ordinator, M&T Resources, Gold Coast August 2012


Exceptional was the word for him!!!

Marg Booth, Managing Director, Great Expectation Speakers – Queensland Insurance Brokers, August 2012


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!

Patrick Whelan, Social Justice Coordinator, St Pius X College, Chatswood, September 2012


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.

Amanda Bain, Australian Glass & Glazing Association, Hobart, September 2012


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.

Angela Chapman, Q-Comp, Brisbane October 2012


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.

Bronwyn Tracey, oOH!media Staff Conference, Sydney, November 2012


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.

Carolyn Cowell, Recruitment & Diversity, People and Performance Branch, Dept Transport & Infrastructure, Canberra December 2012


I saw you speak today. Thank you, you were so inspiring. Listening to your story of overcoming adversity brought tears to my eyes, and I thought “i needed to see this!”. You inspired me to make sure I get that fire back in my life. I just wanted to say thank you because I already know you made a difference to our lives.

Delegate, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Gold Coast, January 2013


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.

Nancy Tombazos, Saxton Speakers Bureau for Perpetual Private, Sydney, February 2013


Excellent presentation & 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

Shaune Gillespie, CEO, Calvary John James Hospital, Canberra, February 2013


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!

Kate Macdonald, Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Sydney, March 2013


Paul is the most incredible human being I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Not only is his story an incredible one, he delivered it in a fun and engaging manner.  I honestly feel that he has made a massive difference to me personally, I am humbled. I know he also had a great impact on all of our staff.  Paul showed us what Awesome looks like and I will never forget the day he shared his amazing story with us.

Adelle Rees, UM, Sydney May, 2013


Paul de Gelder left me feeling the most motivated of all speakers. I couldn’t wait to get home and back to work, He made me appreciate life and how lucky we are.

Delegate – Harcourts National Conference, Gold Coast, May 2013