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Dive into Paul's engaging story of resilience


Paul de Gelder

travels from USA

Navy diver, shark attack survivor, author and motivational speaker touring the world sharing his fascinating story

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About Paul

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A true adventurer, speaker Paul de Gelder has always enjoyed the thrill of a new challenge. However, his life was changed forever when he lost two limbs in a brutal shark attack in 2009. It was up to him to fight or flight…

Why you should book speaker Paul de Gelder

  • Paul is an incredible storyteller and people in the audience are entertained from start to finish when he is on stage. Few people are able to laugh at their own brutal shark attack but Paul manages to bring light and energy to his darkest hours.
  • As a motivational speaker Paul de Gelder knows how to get to the core of the fundamental issues most people face. It’s through challenges that we grow and Paul’s keynotes encourage just that.

Keynote speaker Paul de Gelder has already been through more challenges than what few people experience in a lifetime. As a hoodlum teenager, he didn’t get to start his life the way most people dream of, and as a young adult he battled with drugs and alcohol while working at a strip bar. Paul went on to join the Australian Defense Forces as an Army paratrooper and then as a Navy bomb disposal diver where he finally felt like he belonged. One day, when he was diving for the Navy in Sydney Harbor he came face to face with a shark – and his life changed for good.

Since his shark attack and incredible recovery, Paul has toured the world as a motivational speaker. Paul is also an encouraging mentor to school kids and a passionate environmentalist. He has been featured in the media several times and is especially active during Shark Week. Paul has been named in the top 15 inspirational Australians and top 10 speakers. When he’s not speaking, he’s filming documentaries and diving with sharks.

As a speaker Paul de Gelder is dynamic and engaging with lots of charisma and great presentation skills. Clients are blown away by his inspirational story of never giving up and growing through adversity. Paul often receives standing ovations and has been named the highlight of a conference or event several times. Paul recently published a book “No Time For Fear: How a shark attack survivor best the odds”.

See keynotes with Paul de Gelder

    Keynote by speaker Paul de Gelder

    Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

    • These three words have become a mantra for the motivational speaker Paul de Gelder. In this keynote, he takes his audience on a journey through the ups and downs of his life. This is an honest and vulnerable story of losing a dream and actually being face to face with death.
    • The audience will get exclusive insights into Paul’s life and the years before and after the brutal attack. They will learn important life lessons and remember to fight and never give up.

    Keynote by speaker Paul de Gelder

    The Power of Embracing Fear

    • Paul de Gelder used to be deathly afraid of two things: Sharks and public speaking. Now he makes a living of both. In this keynote, Paul talks about embracing your fears and overcoming the toughest challenges.
    • The audience will learn how to identify their fears and turn them into their greatest strengths. Paul talks straight from the heart and allows the audience to see his own weaknesses and fears as they discover the power of owning your challenges.

    Keynote by speaker Paul de Gelder

    Sharks –  a peek into the world of sharks from a Shark Week host who lost two limbs.

    • Sharks. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but one things is for sure: they are one the most feared animal on the planet. So what exactly does it feel like to be face off against one in a moment of pure fright? Paul will tell you.
    • In this keynote, Paul shares incredible insights and knowledge about sharks. Should we fear them? How do we understand them? Paul has tried it all, whether it’s cageless diving, hand feeding them or swimming alongside them for 43 hours. This keynote is completely unique and offers everything you need to know – and more.
Watch speaker Paul de Gelder in action

Meet Paul de Gelder

See keynotes with Paul de Gelder


I have not seen a speaker of this magnitude & impact in my lifetime. Paul de Gelder is an Inspirational Speaker about determination, resilience, having a positive attitude in life and making good choices for your path forward! I’m not sure what else to say except it’s a true real life story and hearing it first hand will stay with me for years to come. It’s moving, it’s powerful and Paul is able to tie it directly to your audience.

JoJo Conlan

Senior HR Leader, Amazon New York

Paul was absolutely fantastic. First standing ovation in 17 years of conference. Wonderful. He was perfect for our group, a fantastic story-teller and our audience was captivated by him. The response from our attendees was that he was the highlight of our week at conference. Would highly recommend him to anyone. Look forward to working with you both again soon, all the best.

David Maher

“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

"I cannot say enough how much this meant to our audience - people are still buzzing about your performance on stage and how much it moved them. Thanks again for everything!"

Shachar G. Scott - Global Head of Brand Marketing

Snap, Inc.
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Keynote topics with Paul de Gelder