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Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a professional adventurer, diversity ambassador, entrepreneur and TV presenter. She is also a keynote speaker and host par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, Vodafone, HSBC, Microsoft, VISA, and Google.
Debra’s most popular keynote is ‘Choose Your Attitude!’ sharing the story of her remarkable row across the Atlantic following her former husband’s premature departure from their small wooden boat.
Solo Atlantic Rower & Adventurer
After her oarsman husband developed an uncontrollable fear of the ocean, Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic. It should have taken them 6 weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, often battling against 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in a 23′ plywood boat. The techniques she mastered to keep herself motivated are the ones she still relied on today to run her three businesses.
Since this amazing feat Debra has also completed the longest canoe race in the world with Bruce Parry, sailed around Antarctica, and set a new World Record in a Dragon Boat across the English Channel. She has also competed in the Vogalonga in Venice, L’Etape du Tour across the Pyrenees and raced in a 1957 Alfa Romeo in the Monte Carlo Rally. Debra’s spirit of adventure gained her an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen and she was later appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her time as a Trustee for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Debra’s latest business venture is a boutique Diversity & Inclusion consultancy and she was thrilled to combine her passions for Adventure & Gender Equality by organising an all-female expedition in the Arctic Circle. This formed part of a larger awareness piece about inclusion in the automotive industry. Debra runs this alongside her two other businesses.
• How to cope when the goal is still the same but the plan has had to change unexpectedly
• Personal/team strategies to stay motivated when challenged with seemingly impossible goals
• Strategies for performing outside of your comfort zone and choosing the right attitude
• You can’t lead others until you can first lead yourself: Tools and techniques for leaders
• How to cope with the pressure of leadership
• Fostering team work and positive relationships
• The lonely journey to hitting the sales targets and how keep pushing on
• Leaning to Control the Controllables
• Using the knock backs to Burn as Fuel to make you more determined to sell & succeed
Gender Equality & Diversity
• A sensitive yet powerful ‘call to action’ for gender equality in the workplace
• Unconscious Bias – how to stop gender stereotyping affecting colleague relationships
“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
“I work with a very multi cultural group (26 nationalities), this story resonates whatever your background. Debra was very motivational, great on goal setting and having the right attitude of mind. An inspirational story and a great role model particularly for women in our team.”
Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson
“Yesterday was likely the most successful day the Huntington team’s ever had at a conference, and we owe that to Debra. Start to finish, she was brilliant. Debra made us a stronger team.”
Director, Huntington Bank
“You were authentic, genuine, real, approachable. I felt like we were in a conversation vs being presented to. Perhaps the best I have ever experienced in an external speaker. You can tell that it mattered to you.”
Kori Vyse, Vice President HR, NIKE
For speaking enquiries or to book Debra Searle please call Specialist Speakers on +44 (0)203 002 4125 or use our contact form