Debra Searle

Solo Atlantic Rower, Professional Adventurer, Entrepreneur

why book debra?

  • Remarkable solo row across the Atlantic, enduring challenges like 30′ waves and sharks, earned her global recognition and showcased her resilience
  • Founded companies, including MIX Diversity Developers, focusing on innovative corporate programs like the LeasePlan Women’s Arctic Challenge
  • Awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for her spirit of adventure, Debra serves as a trustee for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, showcasing her commitment to service


Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational woman; a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate, Debra is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBMUnileverHSBCUBSMicrosoftGoogle
and Pfizer.

She has over 17 years’ experience and has addressed nearly 1,000 corporate audiences, so you can be confident that your audience will be in safe hands.

Adventurer Debra 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 1⁄2 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 4 companies including MIX Diversity Developers, a diversity consultancy and training company which 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.

Debra is renowned for her ability to tailor her speeches to clients’ needs. Having spoken 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.



Choose Your Attitude – It’s not Magic, it’s Mindset

Research shows that 75% of a top performer’s success can be attributed to positive attitude traits, with only 25% of their success attributed to skillset. Debra helps people tap into that 75% by sharing her amazing personal story of rowing the Atlantic solo after her husband was rescued from their small boat.
Audience takeaways:

  • In her keynote, Debra shares the attitude-enhancing tools she relied on during those 111 days alone at sea.
  • More than just an inspiring storyteller, Debra leaves her audiences with practical and actionable golden nuggets for work and life success, and ideas around how to stay connected with your team.
  • Her ‘Choose Your Attitude Toolkit’ helps leaders and individuals to support themselves, rather than sabotaging themselves mentally when the pressure is on, so they can show up well for their colleagues and clients.

Other Topics Include:

• Teamwork & Positive Relationships

• Strategies for not just coping but excelling during times of change

• Leading through change

Debra Searle


You may want to go deeper with your audience. Masterclasses can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.





“We greatly appreciate all the hard work and preparation that went into creating your talk which greatly enhanced our program and added value to our members experience in Orlando. Thank you for your part in making our event a smashing success.”

CEO, Million Dollar Roundtable after the MDRT Annual Meeting, Florida

“Just a note to let you know how delighted we were with your keynote session on Friday. I genuinely can’t recall such positive feedback and engagement from our delegates over the many conferences which we’ve run!”

Sam Davidson, Group Human Resources Director, Henderson Group

“Debra’s presentation was perfectly aligned to our event objectives. Clearly Debra’s achievements are amazing and interesting in themselves.  More importantly, Debra has the ‘human touch’ and connected well with everyone in the audience.  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 (IBM have booked Debra a further 8 times)

“Debra not only has a great story to tell, but she uses her experiences to support real business situations and bring alive those everyday moments faced by leaders. She clearly understood our organisation and within an hour had totally transformed the mindset of some of the most ‘fixed’ people in this intimate audience.”

Anthony Price, Global Head of Talent Developments, TMF Group

“I have never heard a better speech, anywhere, in any context.”

Alan Farnsworth, Predient, Bausch & Lomb EMEA

“There are good speakers, there are great speakers and then there is Debra Searle. I’ve never seen an audience so engaged, inspired and in touch with the messages that she shared.”

Matt Schofield, People Leader and Business Partner, Auto Trader UK

“We held a conference for 1400 business people with Mikhael Gorbachev, Rory Bremner, Nick Leeson, Murray Walker, John Simpson and Debra Searle as the speakers, and the delegates voted Debra Searle the best.”

Mike Firth, International Business Convention