Narcos Narcos


I’m a motivational speaker, professional adventurer and serial entrepreneur.  I first hit the headlines when I set out to row across the Atlantic with my rowing partner.  Unfortunately he had to be rescued so, despite being a novice rower, I continued alone and rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken us six weeks but, to achieve my goal, I ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, encountering 30′ waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in my 23 foot plywood boat.

Whilst on that journey, I developed motivational strategies which helped me to keep those oars in motion.  16 years, 1,000 speeches and 38 countries later, I’ve had the privilege of sharing those tools with organisations all over the world in my role as a motivational speaker.  The thing is, I’ve come to rely on these strategies completely in my work life, not just when I’m doing crazy expeditions!  I know that they can make all the difference and help everyone to achieve their goals.

I’ve presented over 40 programmes for the BBC, published two books, and been fortunate enough to undertake adventures 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. I was honoured to be given an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen and later an MVO by HRH Prince Charles for my role on the board of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

When I’m not on stage, you can find me running one of my other two businesses (MIX Diversity Developers and, or out exploring the Devon coast with my two young daughters.


You can also check out my TEDx Talk here to hear my story. If you would like me to work with you, I will tailor my speech to bring out the messaging that’s just right for your organisation.


  • Choose Your Attitude!

  • Lead Yourself To Lead Others

  • Personal Resilience Strategies

  • Remaining Positive Through Change

  • Leading Into The Unknown

  • Wellbeing in Work & Play

What Others Say About Metestimonials

  • “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.” Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Managing Director

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

    Bausch & Lomb


  • “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)