Starting at an early age, I was the kid who sat in the back of the class and in a hushed response to the teacher, made everyone within earshot laugh. Upon being asked by the teacher, “Mr. Denham, why don’t you stand-up and share with everyone what’s so funny” – I couldn’t. This fear of public speaking continued through the early years of my twenty-year career as a Navy SEAL. In the fifteenth year I took charge and became a lifetime learner in the art of public speaking. I knew if could improve my skills as a communicator, then anyone could. I took my experiences, education and practice and developed Gary Denham Consulting.
I've worked with a lot of professional organizations, Olympians and amateurs of all levels. Upon meeting the coaches/managers/leaders, I realized two glaring things.
1. Being a great ___________ doesn’t make you a great coach/manager/leader at ___________.
2. Being a professional doesn’t make you Elite.
Being an impactful coach/leader/teacher/mentor is a process that can be taught, learned and implemented into daily life – Being a better person makes you a better coach/leader/teacher/mentor. To include me.
Twenty-years as a Navy SEAL
Five years instructor duty (advanced training and basic)
M.Ed. - Taught 8th grade history
Stood-up, lead and taught NSW Instructor Development (awards three upper division college credits)
Fifteen years of teaching Junior Officers Public Speaking
I am a 20-year veteran of the US Navy SEALs retiring in 2006. During my final tour of duty as a Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Instructor, I continued my education by earning a Master's Degree in Education. Upon retirement, I was a credentialed teacher and taught eighth grade US history before becoming the Director of Instructor Development for Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC) where I stayed for eight years. Now I dedicate my efforts to helping others improve their performance with my business, Gary Denham Consulting. I started it in 2010; only working it part-time as an avocation, now, it is my occupation.
As the owner of Gary Denham Consulting, and an acknowledged professional Public Speaking Coach, I continue to teach all Junior SEAL Officers in the art of public speaking as well as taught the nation's most elite how to be better communicators – from Special Operators, professional baseball and football organizations to members of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
Outside of the military, members of the SEAL community are known as "quiet professionals," but, as operators, SEALs must master the art of communication. SEALs must communicate effectively and efficiently within their squads; they must coordinate work with other military and governmental agencies and foreign nationals. I have been responsible for teaching communication skills to active duty SEAL operators and members of other Special Forces. I personally oversaw the initial instruction, qualification and continued training of all SEAL and Special Warfare Combat Craft Crewmen (SWCC) instructors. Through both direct instruction and training-the-trainers, I have worked with the US Naval Academy and other elite military training programs.
Having developed this curricula for years, I am now considered in the vanguard of elite military education. American military and civilian dignitaries and foreign heads of states regularly came to observe my program, and it has become the basis for similar training for elite special operations forces around the world.
The Number One attribute in any Elite organization is Humility.
It is progress not perfection and we all can improve our performance in any endeavor we seek. I have always sought, every time I teach to learn something about the subject, my audience and myself.
I would love to help you and your organization improve on their ability to effectively communicate with internal and external customers. Please contact me and I'd love to discuss the value of how I can help.
For a list of classes I teach, please connect to my LinkedIn Page.
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