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Deborah Henley

Deborah is a Professional Keynote Speaker, Executive Leadership Coach, Certified Trainer and author of Your Leadership Story


What’s Your Story?

Everyone has a story to tell. A story about who they are and why they do what they do. Often more than one. As a professional speaker and business coach with 20+ years in clinical and business psychology, I’m always fascinated to unearth what lies beneath the surface in people and discover what really drives them to make their choices and achieve success.


It was with this in mind that I found myself sitting around a large table at the Olympic Members Club digging into a berry compôte and freshly baked almond croissants on Women s International Day. A small group of us were there over brunch to hear Vicki Anstey talk about her experiences on C4s SAS Who Dares Wins. I was fascinated to find out what had sustained her through the sheer physical and mental struggles she’d faced diving under the ice and abseiling down gorges. What drove her? What was her story?

She shared an inspiring talk and afterwards, I asked her about whether she was getting onto any big stages. Vicki said she’d like to and asked me what I did.

‘I help leaders, whether owners of small businesses or executives in large corporates, to understand their inner narrative and tell their story so that they can inspire with their message’.


I said I’d just published my book; “Your Leadership Story: Use Your Life Experience to Influence and Inspire” and was a finalist in the Business Book Awards 2019. I told her I was about to lead a Story Accelerator programme

based on the 6-stage process in my book.

Vicki immediately signed up. She could see the benefit as a business owner of Barreworks as well as for her own personal development. She applied herself diligently over the next few months to understand her ‘inner narrative’, discover her core message and craft her story. At the final showcase, she shared her heartfelt story with an audience of 50. It went down a storm and gave her the courage and confidence to apply for a TEDx.

A year after we had first met, she stood on the stage at the Rose Theatre in Kingston in front of 900 people. As she shared her well-crafted story and conveyed her message with presence and style, you could have heard a pin drop! She

totally smashed it.

But what she really got was the confidence to articulate her truth in a compelling way - so that she can stand at the front of the room connect and engage people with her own life experience. And she also got a deeper understanding of

her own narrative - the drivers and motivations that helped her succeed as well as the beliefs and thoughts that might sometimes trip her up (the inner critic) - and the knowledge of how to deal with it should it rear its ugly little head.

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How Your Story Can Be Your Greatest Asset

When someone tells you their story and uses it to share their message - about why they do something, why they are so passionate, why what they do matters, and how it can make a difference to you too - it can be disarming and engaging. You connect with them more quickly; feel greater trust and loyalty towards them and can be profoundly influenced and inspired by what they say. As a small business owner or barre instructor, don’t you want that kind of impact? Your story can become your greatest asset.

Everyone has a story, in fact, we all have many stories or versions of our story that we can tell. But if you want to build up loyal followers who want more of what you offer, then you need to discover which story to tell and learn how to use it. Discover how you can share your message and story from the front of the room or on camera with confidence and clarity.

Workshops and Masterclasses

My book, courses and workshops help you get the best out of yourself and give you the edge in your business and life. The following are designed especially for Barre Instructors and Business Owners. Look out for more information if you would like to understand your own personal and business narratives, recognise what might be holding you back and create a more empowering vision for yourself.

Understand Your Own Story

‘But I don’t have a story!’ you say. Everyone has a story! Everyone has a reason why they do what they do.

How did you come across Barre? Why did you want to become an instructor? Who are you most driven to help and why? What has led to this point in your life? What do you still want to achieve in the future? What is the difference that you would love to make in people’s lives?

These are the essential questions to ask yourself whether you are a business owner or as someone who communicates at the front of the room or on screen. You are on show and you need self-awareness and self-understanding to sustain you

through the challenges.

Understand your own internal narrative so that you can take control of your past and redirect your future. It will empower you and others within your sphere of influence. Know your own story to create greater opportunities in life and business in order to achieve what you were really put on this planet to do.

Find your Core Message

Before sharing your story you need to know what’s at the heart of it, and that is your Core Message. The Core Message is life a life purpose, mission or calling. It has been with you for years and while it was originally there because you needed to learn it - it is now there to let you know how you can best serve others. It is your greatest piece of life wisdom that you cherish and hold dear. It has motivated your Barre practice, certainly your practice as an instructor, and it has probably appeared in other passions that you have had in your life often unbeknownst to you. It is the secret of what really drives and motivates you, behind the scenes.


When you discover your own Core Message, it brings so much clarity, direction and focus to your work and life. It will be a guiding light for all your activities. You can use it as the spark from which to discover your story and from which to grow your personal, professional and business brand.

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Befriend Your Inner Critic

One of the things that can hold us back are the unspoken doubts, fears and concerns that we have about ourselves. Contrary to what you might expect this workshop can be one of the most enjoyable experiences people have as part of their self-development - and it can also be one of the most transformational in terms of their future business success!

When you transform a lifetime of niggles and negative thinking into something that can spur you on in a positive way you’ll find so many obstacles are removed - both psychological and real.

This workshop is a creative exploration that can be done virtually or together in-person.

Vicki wrote about her experience in an Instagram post.

Bring Your Authentic Brand to Life: Claim your Power and Presence

Just as everyone has a story, everyone has a personal brand. It has famously been said that your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. So it pays to be conscious and deliberate about how you express your brand. It needs to be a reflection of the real you, at your best, After all, as you put yourself increasingly into the public eye, your reputation becomes increasingly important. A powerful authentic brand can make the difference between career success and failure.


Discover the six Vs of your own authentic personal brand as I take you through my tried and tested framework and

learn how to create a powerful personal presence that will help you succeed at the front of the room to realise your

hopes and dreams.

Turn Stress to Success: find your SPARK!

This short mindfulness course consists of 5 meditative sessions before breakfast. It enables you to rekindle your spark of energy, creativity and genius turning your struggles and anxieties into purpose and passion.

When you have a spark burning bright, it is far easier to ignite the spark in others. We have all experienced feeling mentally exhausted and demotivated. Many things in life can cause our spark to dwindle - but when your sparks shines bright others notice it too. It s a light in your eyes, the brightness of your smile and the spring in your step. You can’t fake it! This course will give your 5 simple steps to bring your SPARK to the dark!

Confidence at the Front of the Room: Presenting with Power and Presence

You may have been a performer or dancer before becoming a Barre Instructor. You may be in your element on stage or at the front of the room showing people your high kicks and demi-plies but using your voice to bring out the best in others, especially when working with a group, can be a different matter altogether.

Learn the secrets that experienced presenters, facilitators and speakers know that will enable you to communicate with power and presence and have the confidence to make an impact.

This Masterclass will share tips and tricks on language patterns, mindset, preparing your body to communicate and how to manage group dynamics. Essential knowledge for all instructors.


If you would be interested in finding out more about these courses please contact: and

put BARRE in the title.


You can purchase Your Leadership Story on Amazon or Audible.

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