Debra Searle MBE

, , , ,

Debra Searle MBE

Debra is a professional adventurer, author and TV presenter. She is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the worlds top organisations

Debra Searle MBE is a professional adventurer, author and TV presenter. She is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, BT, UBS, Microsoft, Nokia, AMP and Pfizer. Debra’s keynotes focus on:

  • Change
  • Motivation and productivity
  • Team work and positive relationships
  • Achieving impossible goals
  • Commitment and perseverance

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.

Atlantic Rower and 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. Since this amazing feat Debra has also completed the longest canoe race in the world, sailed around Antarctica, set a new World Record in a Dragon Boat across the English Channel and completed the gruelling L’Etape du Tour cycle race in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Motivational and after-dinner speaker

Debra is a ‘refreshing change’ to the usual speakers on the circuit. She is young, attractive, articulate, funny and unassuming.  Often very emotive, she shares her highs and lows, personal battles and victories, to help illustrate in a very human way what we are all capable of. She is not a motivational speaker reliant on buzz words, hype and jargon. Her main themes are how to stay motivated, being adaptable to change, overcoming obstacles, excelling outside your comfort zone, how to improve team-working through encouraging one another and how to choose the right attitude, however impossible the end goal may seem.

Debra powerfully illustrates her speech with slides and stunning video footage and leaves her audience in no doubt of their own ability to achieve the extraordinary both individually and collectively.

She sets herself apart from other speakers by her level of commitment to each project. Taking the time to ensure she fully understands the conference themes and gathering company and industry specific information allows her to tailor her presentation to your exact requirements.  This same level of commitment is carried through to the event where she makes every effort to speak with delegates on a one-to-one basis. 

Debra in business and the media

Not just a woman with an interesting story, Debra Searle walks the talk in the business world having started her first company aged 24 and her second aged 27.  She is a Managing Director, the only female and youngest Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a published author of two books and regular newspaper feature writer.

Debra’s ease in front of the camera, drive and enthusiasm has led to a number of TV presenting opportunities outside of the adventure arena.

As well as presenting on BBC Grandstand, Debra has also presented Big Strong Boys and Builders, Sweat and Tears on BBC1 Daytime. She has completed work for CBBC Education, was the subject of a documentary for BBC Extreme Lives and presented ITV’s Southampton Boat Show.

Examples of Debra Searle’s key messages

Debra founded her first company at the age of 24 and her second at the age of 26. She is also on the board of directors for one of the UK’s largest youth charities. She walks the talk. This is not just the story of a woman rowing across the Atlantic. She uses the techniques learnt in extreme settings to apply to her businesses, resulting in a consistent 30% year on year growth since rowing the Atlantic.

How to be innovative in response to change                            

  • Things don’t have to go to plan to work out well.
  • Don’t waste energy on the things you cannot change. Instead put your energy into those things you can.
  • We often feel apprehensive because we don’t know what is going to happen next but if we can visualise the possibilities we eliminate some of that fear.
  • Force change to create opportunities.
  • Change puts us outside of our comfort zone but after we have been there a while that new place becomes our comfort zone, leaving us able to find the opportunities in change.

Excelling as an individual whilst working within a team

  • Personal brand values
  • Personal goal setting and reward systems
  • FREE WORDS – we have an unlimited supply of words.  Use them positively and see the massive effect it has on the people you work with. How many people have I encouraged today?
  • Using visualisation to make you perform better at work – how and why.  Practical tools.
  • How to achieve – no matter how impossible the end goal may seem.

Coping with the pressure of Leadership

  • “Obstacles are those frightful things you see only when you take your eyes off the goal”
  • Just because everyone says it can’t be done doesn’t mean to say it’s impossible.
  • Working with TOXIC TALENT! Those who only see problems bring you down.  Don’t be one.  Become aware of how you use your free words.
  • The illusion of decision ownership to keep a team engaged and on side.

Motivation to Succeed

  • Using the knock-backs to burn as fuel to make you more determined to succeed/sell.
  • Dispel the fear – understand your “sharks”.
  • Strategies for coping when you are out there working on your own:

– Look back sometimes and take encouragement from how far you have come rather than getting down about how far you have got to go to hit target.

– Learning to laugh in the desperate times

– Using music to change our mindset and attitude

– Personal goal setting and reward systems

– Gain the knowledge to retain the control

– How to stay motivated and be determined

Choose your Attitude!

  • Choose your attitude, however impossible the end goal may seem. Sometimes, attitude is the only thing we have a choice about.  It has to be a positive one – negative attitudes were banned from the boat. A practical explanation of how to do this.

Motivational Speakers / Adventurer / After Dinner Speakers / Rower

Scroll to Top