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.


Brexit creates uncertainty for 4 million expats

In March 2013 my husband told me there was a possibility of his work moving us out to San Francisco from London. 16 months later we were on a plane ready to begin new lives. It doesn’t sound very long, but those 16 months felt like a lifetime. I found it hard to give my career in the UK 110 per cent, when I was also looking into the work opportunities in California. I felt split and frustrated by the uncertainty.   Ultimately, if our visas had been refused those 16 months would have faded into our joint history. We […]


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 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 […]