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Debra Searle MVO, MBE – Professional Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Gender Balance Advocate and Inspirational Speaker.

Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational woman; a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate, Debra Searle is best known for rowing 3,000 miles alone across the Atlantic following her husband's premature departure from their small wooden boat.

Debra Searle  is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world's top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, HSBC, UBS, Microsoft, Google and Pfizer. She has over 13 years' experience and has addressed more than 800 corporate audiences, so you can be confident that your audience will be in safe hands.  

 Debra Searle's most popular keynote speech topics include:

How to 'choose your attitude' and succeed against the odds

Personal resilience strategies

Not just coping with but thriving through change

Learning to lead yourself so that you can lead others

Teamwork

Unconscious Bias – what is it and how can we change it?

Gender Balance

Each and every speech that Debra Searle delivers is unique and tailored to her client's needs through her use of a pre-event questionnaire and briefing call.

Debra Searle MVO, MBE – Professional Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Gender Balance Advocate and Inspirational Speaker.

Debra Searle MVO, MBE – Professional Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Gender Balance Advocate and Inspirational Speaker.


Adventurer

Debra Searle  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 Searle has gone on to undertake 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.

Businesswoman and Diversity Champion

 Debra Searle is more than your usual sports speaker.  She graduated from university with 1st Class Honours, starting her first company, a dot-com, at the age of 23 and second at 27.  More recently Debra Searle founded a diversity consultancy and training company.  As part of this, Debra has launched a ‘Diversity Ambassadors’ programme at a major international bank as well as shifting cultural gender stereotypes by taking 12 women from the car industry to the Arctic Circle for a unique D&I communications project. 

Debra Searle’s 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 Scheme in 2003, the youngest and only female trustee working alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. Debra Searle has been appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her services to the Award. 

Debra at home

Debra Searle has two young daughters who have inherited her love for adventure.  Fortunately, they live in the South West of England so have easy access to the beach for canoeing and the moors for wild-camping!  When she’s not with her daughters or exploring the Great Outdoors, Debra Searle has an eclectic range of hobbies, from video editing through to reading a copious amount of non-fiction books.


Inspirational Speaker

Debra Searle  is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, HSBC, UBS, Microsoft, Google and Pfizer. She has over 13 years’ experience and has addressed more than 800 corporate audiences, so you can be confident that your audience will be in safe hands.  

 Debra Searle’s most popular keynote speech topics include:

How to ‘choose your attitude’ and succeed against the odds

Personal resilience strategies

Not just coping with but thriving through change

Learning to lead yourself so that you can lead others

Teamwork

Unconscious Bias – what is it and how can we change it?

Gender Balance


Debra Searle MVO, MBE – Professional Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Gender Balance Advocate and Inspirational Speaker.

“Booking Debra Searle through Inspirational Speakers was truly an inspired move.

As a speaker Debra brings sincerely, humility, humour and warmth to her audience. She had delegates laughing and near tears in the space of 90 mins and stands out for me as one of the best decisions I’ve taken in five years of booking speakers. I have never seen a speaker receive such strong feedback or be so natural and at ease with delegates. I couldn’t recommend booking Debra highly enough”
Colin Macintosh
Reading Primary Head Teachers Conference Oct 4th

 
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)


“I have never heard a better speech, anywhere, in any context.”
Alan Farnsworth, President, Bausch & Lomb EMEA

“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, CEO
International Business Convention


I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences, yesterday. You showed such passion and determination
but balanced with humility and awareness of those around you. I have listened to many speakers and have found
that although the message is good they can often come over as too 'slick' and scripted. Whilst you presented in a
highly professional manner I felt you were speaking from your heart and that what you spoke about still meant a
lot to you. Senior Manager
“We've had some great feedback from both sets of attendees. Your delivery was just right for our audiences and
hit the right note without being too sentimental or depressing. Lots of fun and laughter - just what was needed! Hopefully we can do this
again sometime - there are plenty of people within the Group who I know would like to hear your story!”
Chris Williams RBS Conference Manager  ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
(Debra has been rebooked by Royal Bank of Scotland for a further 6 events and for 4 events by RBS Americas)


“What can I say? You were simply phenomenal! I had no doubt as to the impact that you would
have, however what I did not expect was the scale of the impact. Your presentation was perfect. I
could not have envisioned a more motivational and appropriate speech to such a (sometimes!)
cynical audience. I can safely say that you have touched the hearts and minds of 338 people sitting
in that auditorium. The feedback was simply awesome!
Andrew Moody, Team Manager BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM
(Boehringer Ingelheim have rebooked Debra a further three times to date)


“People really valued the fact that Debra is able to draw parallels between her adventure experiences and
her working/daily life, having run her own companies - and that she does so in a way that is personal to her
and offered simply as a thought to the group rather than drawing sweeping generalised conclusions and
laying them down as law in the way some speakers can.”
Debra Westlake, UBS Global Employee Communications Director UBS

“Debra  was Fantastic. 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, CE of the International Business Convention

“Thank you for your great speech at our recent conference. As the person tasked with finding a   motivational speaker to rev up our Procurement population, the entire organising committee has  confirmed that I couldn’t I have chosen a better speaker.
From the number of delegates that queued to speak to you in the coffee break I’m sure you alreadyappreciate how well you were received. However, I thought you might like to know that the formal

feedback we have received from the conference has been phenomenal:
Q “Was Debra Searle interesting and informative?”
A Yes – 98%
Compared with most speakers who typically appeal to 30% of the audience I was extremely pleased with the feedback. The view beforethe conference was that I had a tough job to find a speaker who would appeal to the majority of the audience! All that is left for me to say is thank you for sharing such an amazing and touching story” Alison Kerfoot
(Debra has spoken a second time for  BAE SYSTEMS PLC)


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, J&J Middle East JOHNSON & JOHNSON

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