Debra Searle is a solo Atlantic rower and entrepreneur and speaker on motivation, achieving against the odds and dealing with change
Debra Searle MVO MBE first hit the headlines when she set out to row across the Atlantic with her husband. Unfortunately he had to be rescued so Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken them six weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, encountering 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in her 23 foot plywood boat. Since returning from this adventure, Debra has gone on to undertake solo & team expeditions across the globe, including canoeing the Yukon River for a BBC documentary with Bruce Parry, sailing the Southern Ocean, and racing in the Monte Carlo Rally in a 1957 Alfa Romeo.
Yet Debra is more than your usual sports speaker. Debra has founded 5 companies including MIX Diversity Developers, a diversity consultancy and training company specialises in innovative corporate programmes such as the LeasePlan Women’s Arctic Challenge. Her spirit of adventure gained her an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen and she was delighted to be appointed a trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 2003, the youngest and only female trustee working alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Debra has been appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her services to the Award.
This year Debra will be making frequent trips to Hollywood as the movie telling the story of her Atlantic row is currently in development.
Debra is renowned for her ability to tailor her speeches to clients’ needs. Having spoken at 1,000 events across every major industry including banking, consultancy, direct sales, healthcare and retail she has the expertise to understand the specifics of your industry and to craft her speech accordingly. Debra powerfully illustrates her message with slides and stunning video footage, leaving her audience in no doubt of their own ability to achieve the extraordinary.
Popular speech topics include:
- Choose Your Attitude! It’s not magic: it’s mindset
- Teamwork & Positive Relationships
- Strategies for not just coping but excelling during times of change
- Leading through change
- How to achieve against the odds.
“The value output was clear for us all. Our team weaved your content through so much of their own presentations during the rest of the event, it was obvious that you had made a real impact on our approach to leadership. The energy with which you shared your story was so brilliant and truly engaging for such a diverse audience (India, Egypt, Romania and UK). It could not have been tailored better to suit our needs.”
— Emily Rees - Vodafone
"Debra’s presentation was perfectly aligned to our event objectives. She held the audience from start to finish and balanced humour with more serious messages. She scored 5 out of 5 from every one of the 170 delegates. This is unheard of!”
— Client Director - IBM
"'You were authentic, genuine, real, and approachable. I felt like we were in a conversation vs being presented to. Perhaps the best I have ever experienced in an external speaker.”
— Kori Vyse - Nike Global