Well-known quotes that circulate everywhere are other people's ideas. They obviously have meaning to many people--but you don't get credit for any of that meaning if all you do is quote them.
You can rivet your audience by using quotes when you're the speaker if you do the following:
1) Pose a question that the quote is an answer to. For example, this quote was posted recently "Always learn the rules. So you can break them properly." (Dalai Lama)
You might pose this question: "What do you do when it comes to the tension between the conformity that keeps your job and innovation that could propel your career?"
Then you could quote the Dalai Lama.
2) You must also add your own perpsective to the quote. In this example, the quote itself is a guide to your thinking. What does does it mean to you to learn the rules and then break them properly? Why? How have you done this? Tell your story.
Open your story with "What if you were faced with (X)? I was faced with it and it became the perfect time to do as the Dalai Lama suggests. (then tell the story).
3) Clearly guide the audience to understand your take on the quote and then find their own example. At the end of the sotry, you ask the audience to think back to a similar time, and give them a couple of minutes to analyze their own experience, or invite them to share their experience with someone next to them.
This is riveting your audience with quotes: creating the context, using the quote, telling a story.
What's great is that they'll remember you as much as the well-known quote because it was you who helped them create meaning from it.
How have you interpreted a quote in a way that made you really memorable for the audience? Share your story in our comment box.