Derrick McManus

Australia - SA

More than just a completely captivating recount of the day this Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group Police Officer was shot 14 times, in less than 5 seconds, with a high-powered rifle and left lying at deaths door for 3 hours before he could be rescued. This is an exceptionally empowering, remarkably moving and surprisingly funny insight into the human spirit rising above adversity and performing well beyond expectations. This is about a man harnessing the power of optimism, passion, contingency planning, goal setting, dreaming big and the ultimate in resilience to achieve the extraordinary.

Experience this very powerful presentation, which is full of deep and meaningful messages that will touch the heart and soul and lift the spirits of anyone who hears it. 

Derrick McManus will detail the 3 hours he lay bleeding on the ground with massive injuries with his blood supply getting so low that his vision turned to 'pristine white'.  He will detail being fully conscious and what it took to control his mind and body. The first doctor to reach him was amazed he was alive but estimated he was just 30 seconds from death. Doctors later predicted Derrick would never return to work as a Police Officer but were again amazed when he did. After two and a half years of roller-coaster rehabilitation, Derrick defied all odds when he didn't just return to Police duties, he returned to full duties with the elite, physically, mentally and emotionally demanding STAR Group.

Derrick is grounded, frank and open. Mix that with a cheeky sense of humour and he will have you literally crying one minute and laughing the next.  However, everything he says is laser focussed on meeting the client's brief.

Derrick's key points:

  • 5 Drivers for Success in Life or Business - they are the same.
  • Accept responsibility for building the life you want no matter the adversities.
  • Preparation and attitude is the difference between mediocrity or success.
  • Everyone has the success gene - learn how to turn it on.
  • Focus on the skills you have and make the most of them - get over excuses.
  • His survival and later thriving depended on teamwork - so does yours.
  • How to build the confidence, courage and capacity to think, act and achieve BIG.

Ultimately, Derrick will leave your audience on the greatest high and realising the power and the tools to take on the world already lies within them. This makes Derrick's presentation and workshops among the most dynamic and inspiring sessions available in Australia right now.

NB:   As a member of the STAR Group Derrick maintained many specialist skills including Sniper, Diver, and Counter-Terrorist Operative (trained by Australian Army SAS).

Keynote Topics:

Never Say Die

When Derrick was shot 14 times, in less than 5 seconds, he was literally laughing about "what the boys would say when he got back to work" and it didn't take long for them to start coming up with some very creative nicknames. With a twisted, warped and cheeky sense of humour, Derrick tells one of the most dramatic and inspirational, true-life stories available in Australia today.

Be inspired by Derrick's zest for life in this totally open and frank real life account of the event that should have taken his life. Learn how to overcome your biggest challenges and to triumph where others believe it's impossible.

  • Pure inspiration
  • 5 Drivers for Success
  • How to build confidence, courage and capacity
  • Managing attitude and perspective
  • Amazing example of resilience 

Inside Your Head

The greatest challenge you will ever have to achieving success in your life is "Inside Your Head". This keynote or half-day program is ideal for executives and team leaders looking to advance in personal skills.  It distills Derrick's philosophies, behaviours and attitudes into the actual tools, formulas and models to:

  • Build self confidence, courage and capacity
  • Identify your strengths and develop them
  • Identify goals/dreams and mentors to achieve them
  • Develop personal confidence to think and perform in ways you have always wanted to
  • Relish competition and challenges 
  • Apply Derrick's formula for resilience for you
  • Turn defeat into resounding victory 

7 Pillars of Tactical Leadership

Military Special Forces selection and training includes the ability to be a leader in the toughest and most demanding work environments in the world. 7 Pillars of Tactical Leadership are distilled from this peak performance arena and are as applicable in the office as they are anywhere. This keynote or half-day program will show you how to use the same 7 Pillars to:

  • Take control or teams and situations
  • Make decisions quickly and confidently
  • Form contingency plans
  • Give directions and get results
  • Deal with discipline in an effortless, positive way
  • Simplify risk assessments
  • Ensure you and your team are performing at their peak

The Magic of Thinking BIG

Prior to the shooting Derrick planned to survive 'a shooting'. He had a contingency plan, he had visualised himself succeeding, surviving and thriving afterwards. Derrick was Thinking BIG.

While going through his rehabilitation he was encouraged, by some very influential people, 'to slow down, relax and enjoy the obvious pension for the rest of his life', but Derrick was Thinking BIG. He pushed himself for the best he could create whatever that might be.  His ultimate aim was to return to family and, despite medical predictions, return to STAR Group.  Derrick was Thinking BIG.   Let Derrick show your personnel how they too can achieve BIG by thinking BIG.

This program uses analogies from all of Derrick's life, not just the shooting, to give you proven methods to:

  • How to Think BIG and achieve BIG
  • Build the confidence, courage and capacity to Think BIG.
  • Assess potential impacts of action and inaction.
  • Break it all down to simple steps for success
  • Stop making excuses and take responsibility for your actions and inactions
  • Fighting The Fear Factory based on Derrick's own book 



Derrick's situation was such that I felt many parallels could be drawn to illustrate goal setting, teamwork, perseverance and determination, training focus and courage. He delivered his talk in a very natural, open and insightful manner. It had a very positive effect on my staff.
- State Director, Tmp.worldwide

If Derrick could conjure up all the will power to endure what he did, and win through, then so can we. This is exactly the commitment we were looking for in our people.
- Mitsubishi Motors Aust

Thanks for your presentation to our Leadership Team. Your stirring talk was a significant contributor to our day's success. It was a genuinely moving presentation that touched us all and made us believe that our goals are achievable.
- Manager, City of Charles Sturt

I would certainly recommend Derrick to any organization seeking a dramatic account of going against the odds and achieving goals through sheer determination.
- Injury Management Team, Public Sector Workforce Relations

The Financial Planners were raving about you all afternoon and could relate to how you had to make a choice to 'sink or swim' with the major changes you faced in life. The day itself was a great success and one of the main contributing factors to its success was your final talk on the day.
- Business Co-ordinator, Colonial - Wholesale Financial Services

Our group was so moved by your presentation in Hobart in relation to choices, changes and challenges that we are happy to book you for our next three conferences too. We couldn't think of a more appropriate speaker who can relate to what our people are going through as an organisation at this time.
- Manager Training and Development, Austbrokers Holdings Ltd

Westfield was looking for a speaker who could demonstrate the importance of 1) operating as a professional team 2) planning and preparing 3) setting and achieving goals. Derrick's life experience was a natural fit and he was able to structure his speech to (incorporate) our corporate objectives. The audience was inspired. Having listened to and engaged motivational speakers for 20 years I rate Derrick as one of the best we have encountered".
- Westfield General Manager, Security

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