What I should not have and should have said to the women I know and admire?

makes-you-feel-beautiful

Most of us have thought / struggled / worried about our weights and looks at some point of time in our lives. For as long as I can remember, I have thought about it too – wanting to have the ‘perfect’ figure. After I had my little girl, weight was a constant issue and I wanted to go back to my ‘original’ figure (which when I had it, I wasn’t convinced it was perfect anyway). 

It took me a year to reach a state of mind where I was at peace with the weight. I finally told my body, I love you the way you were. I finally began to feel more beautiful than ever.

When I heard a fellow dear friend struggle with this matter of self-image, weight and looks, I began to think about this entire topic again. I asked – why do we have to worry about the number on a scale, a few inches here and there or how we look so much. We are so much more than that.

So I am dedicating this poem to all of us and all the amazing women in our lives.

—-

Today I have a confession to make
A realization which has become my faith.
That the time has come for me to apologize
For words I said or didn’t say when I was not this wise.

I told my girls they looked very pretty
When looks were just one facet of their beauty.
I told my girls excitedly that they had lost weight
When I should have complimented a more meaningful trait.

I want to tell them now that they are so much more
Than the number on a scale or the dress they wore.
I want to tell them now that they are brave and bold
And their passionate heart is made of gold.

I want to tell them to go out there and make some noise
And make sure that everyone hears their voice.
I want to tell them to take a hammer and then shatter
The ceiling which stops them from doing things that matter.

I want to tell them to go follow their heart
For that will lead them to their fine art.
I want to tell them to take wings and rise
And remove those shades of self doubt from their eyes.

I want to tell them to stop worrying about what people say
Those who don’t understand will judge anyway.
I want to tell them that they are best as they are
Atoms of light under pressure, a bright shining Rock-star.

With love & inspiration,
Nidhi Kush Shah

Strawberry & Macadamia Pies – Vegan, No Bake & Refined Sugar Free!

macademia-dates-pie

Hey! How are  you all? Happy New Week! 

As I look around, weather is getting cooler, work is getting slower and people are smiling brighter – yeah..the time to say GoodBye 2016 is getting closer. 

I am also on my way to wrap up my client training, coaching and speaking engagements for this year in about two weeks. Then – time to unwind, reflect, travel, spend loads of quality time with the family aaaandd – cook and eat! 🙂 Yes, there is not one day in my life when I am not thinking about what I am going to cook or eat next. 

Today’s recipe is something I can eat all day, every day. 

It is delicious. It is a dessert. It is vegetarian. And it is healthy and refined sugar free – which means we can have as many as we like! 

I am sold! 

macadaemia-pie-2

Bringing to you – my Macadamia-Strawberry Pies. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 Cup Dates 
  • 1 Cup Macadamia nuts 
  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal 
  • 1 Cup chopped strawberries 
  • 2 Teaspoon Cocoa powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey ( I add it for extra sweetness. If you want to make it vegan, you can replace this with maple syrup or omit it altogther.)

Method: 

  • Blend your macadamia nuts into a fine paste / powder in your food processor  and keep aside. 
  • Wash dates and sprinkle some water over them. Let them sit for 10 minutes so they become a bit soft.
  • Put the dates in your food processor and blend them until you get a dough. 
  • Next add macadamia powder, cocoa, oatmeal, half of chopped strawberries and honey and pulse again, until everything is mixed properly into a dough. 
  • This is a very freestyle dough. If you feel that your dough is not sticky enough – add another spoonful of honey. If you feel that your dough has become too sticky, add few spoons of oatmeal flour or almond flour and mix well. This is because sometimes it depends on the quality of the dates – how dry or sticky they are. 
  • Take the dough out of the processor and divide into small balls. Now set these balls into the small pies either with your hands or using a mold. 
  • Freeze the pies for 3-4 hours.  
  • Once the pies are set, top them up with strawberries and macadamia nut pieces. 

And voila! Your raw pies are ready. They are definitely a showstopper at any dinner party. Go ahead and try them out. 

macademia-dates-pie3

Note:

The weather is getting cooler, so when I made it again over the weekend, I added a big tablespoon of dry ginger powder to give them an extra health boost. 


That’s all for now. 

What have you been cooking lately? What are your plans for the year end? 

As always, don’t forget to let me know if you made and liked this recipe. I would love to see all your pictures and happy faces. Tag your creations with #veggiliciousbyNia or #NidhiKushShah so I can put a smile to my face as well. 🙂 

Have a wonderful week ahead! 

Love & Inspiration

Nia

How to deliver an unforgettable presentation with 5 simple techniques?

Hey All! Happy New Start to the Week! Hope you all had a lovely weekend. 

It is an exciting Monday at my end. I am facilitating a discussion / training at The French Chamber of Commerce (in HK) today evening about “Impactful Presentation Skills”. Can’t believe it has been almost four years since my first training there. Wow! Still remember like it was yesterday. 🙂 

french_cham_pb

Anyhoo, while I am preparing for my discussions, I want to share some thoughts about how can we make our speeches / presentations / talks unforgettable and impactful. 

Why is that important for you?  Because, I have realized that irrespective of industry, title and role, business professionals are often required to speak to people and influence them. 

So, here are 5 techniques which we can use – whether we are speaking to 2 or 20 or 200! 


“If all my possessions were taken from me, with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of speech –for by it I would regain all the rest.”  – Daniel Webster 

This thought could not be more relevant in today’s corporate world. The ability to present with confidence and style has become an essential skill for most leaders and managers. The question whether someone is able to deliver with persuasion – and thus motivate clients and colleagues to action — is instrumental in determining a professional’s success quotient.

However, for many, just the thought of standing in front of a large group of people with a screen at our backs and laser in our hands, can be close to terrifying. Surveys have often identified that people fear public speaking more than death. Although it sounds surprising, the fact remains that many professionals shy away from this significant career development tool.

Have you been in a similar situation? How can you make presentations more impactful? How can you dazzle your listeners? Here are five simple strategies which will help you achieve this.

1.  Use the “STICKY” formula

In the book, “Made to Stick” authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath shared a very powerful formula to make your message “sticky.” They recommend that the best content is one which is “Simple, Unexpected, Credible, Concrete, Emotional and like Stories.” What this means: if your message is without jargon, full of surprising facts, with ample credible and concrete examples all packaged with emotions and stories, it becomes unforgettable.

2.  Have a Powerful Beginning 

“Well begun is half done,” as they say! The first two minutes of any presentation are crucial. You can begin with a powerful quote, an interesting statistic, a personal story or a simple question. It just has to be something that will capture the attention of your audience.

However, keep the beginning clear and concise. If it is stretched out too much, then the impact is lost. Also beware of falling into the ‘humor trap’. A number of presenters have used a “funny joke”as their opening gambit — to their own peril. Also avoid using an apology, an excuse or mic-check at the start.

3.  Conclude with a Call to Action

There is no real ending. It is just the place where you stop the story.” — Frank Herbert

What is your aim as a presenter? More often than not, it is to motivate your audience to take an action. Whether you are speaking to your board, in the hopes that they will let you lead a project, or to a client so they will give you the account, you want to be persuasive to make any of this happen.

You can achieve this by making your conclusion dynamic and powerful. An easy way: use a question. Ask them to think about their next step. Or you can also use a powerful anecdote or a quote. Whatever you choose, inspire your audience in a way that your ending stays with them for a long time.

4.  Give meaning to numbers

Statistics and data, when used effectively, can make a message more credible. That said, when used by themselves, they can get really overwhelming. Remember that numbers are understood so much more when they are used in context and put into perspective. You can do this by using analogies. A great example – when Steve Jobs wanted to talk about the iPod, he said it will bring you a “thousand songs in your pocket” instead of “5 GB of memory.” 

5.  Engage your Audience

A presentation is not a one-person task; it is not a stage where the actress or the actor shows up,  performs and then departs, leaving viewers either impressed or angry. Instead, impactful presentations are a team effort, where the audience is as involved as the speaker.  So interact with them early by using questions, exercises, and sharing experiences. Bob Pike, an expert on participant-centered facilitation says, “Never do for your audience what they can do for themselves.”

There are many more tools and techniques which great presenters and speakers use to motivate their audiences. However, one common thread is that each signifies the importance of making presentations come alive with vision and vigor. So when you have to hit your mark on the big day, remember that during your talk, you should aim to cross the bridge from information to inspiration.

And lastly, remember what Maya Angelou said:

“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

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What are your challenges in presenting with confidence, presence and persuasion? How have you overcome them?

Would love to hear more from you in the comments below. 

Would you like to read more about Presentation Skills, Communication Skills, Executive Leadership Branding and more? Come over and say hello at www.alchemyconsulting.asia / https://nidhikushshah.wordpress.com/

This article was originally written for Sharp Heels. Please find the post here.