Felicity H. Barber


About Felicity H. Barber

I am a speechwriter, who coaches people to make awesome speeches, presentations and pitches. I moved to San Francisco from London with my software engineer husband and two cats in 2014. As if moving half way around the world wasn’t enough, I made the crazy decision to start my own business at the same time! Life has been a big adjustment to go from in-house to freelance, tea and scones to coffee and brownies, rainy days to constant sunshine, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.


Keep calm… and travel with cats

When my husband asked me if I wanted to move to San Francisco, one of my first questions was: “Can we take the cats?” He replied: “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere without the cats.” As soon as our visas were confirmed I threw myself into the logistics of how to get two furry felines from Crouch End in London to San Francisco in California. I Googled furiously, I consulted with my vet and I tried to find other people out there who had experience with cats and a transatlantic journey. The first two tasks were easy, but I struggled […]


Top 5: Things every Brit should know before they move to the Bay Area

It’s exactly a year since I stepped off the plane and into my new life in San Francisco. Here are a few essentials I wish I’d known twelve months ago:   Half and half is not the same as semi-skimmed milk This is a mistake every new British expat makes. You go into a coffee shop and order a cup of tea. You ask for the milk and the barista points to a bar a few feet away. There’s a jug marked ‘Half and Half’ and a jug marked ‘Skim’. You go for the Half and Half – after all, […]


Top 7: Tips for the Novice Giants Fan

Last night I went to my third Giants game. My first game was miserable. I was freezing cold, I had no idea what was going on and I was sat in front of a teenage girl who kept dropping sweet stuff down my back. When I got home my hair was a tangled mess of cotton candy, slush puppy and caramel corn. I vowed never to return. But going to the baseball and eating a corn dog is one of those things all of our friends want to do when they come out to visit us. So I’ve now been […]


Top 6: Tips for the Expat Entrepreneur

In the UK I was a speechwriter at Lloyd’s of London, the global insurer. When my husband was offered the job of a lifetime in San Francisco, I decided to use our West Coast move to pursue my own dream, of running a business. I set up Thoughtful Speech, which offers speechwriting services and coaching for people who want to deliver stellar presentations and pitches. It’s been an exhilarating and challenging journey, and I’d like to share with you some of the things I wish I’d known when I stepped off the plane from London eight months ago. 1. Be […]