Expert Chicago Public Speakers

Hear fun and meaningful Chicago stories that motivate and inspire.

Make your special event, “lunch and learn” program, or conference into a slam-dunk success with our expert Chicago public speakers. We are a passionate team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers acclaimed as some of the best tour guides in the city.

Our engaging, smart, and professional Chicago public speakers can customize the stories of Chicago history and architecture to fit the tone, industry, and emotional dynamic of your corporate event.

Your event guests could be inspired with stories of  how and why Chicago neighborhoods change. Listeners’ world-views can be expanded with Chicago’s history of community-based activism and social movements. And we can gladly guide your audience in mindfully appreciating the beauty of the everyday Chicago landscape.

Our expansive knowledge of Chicago’s architecture and history can be applied to most any Chicago special event. We creatively devise angles and build narratives into our keynote speeches. 

All our professional Chicago public speakers know how to engage an audience and flawlessly execute their event. We hope you’ll invite us to orchestrate a powerful public speaking presentation for your special event! 

chicago public speaker


  • “Innovation in Chicago, America’s Most Resilient City”
  • “Imagining the Pedway and Chicago’s Hidden Layers”
  • “Chicago LGBT History Beyond Boystown”
  • “Learning Landscapes to Make Health Equity Real”
  • “Sky-High Chicago Dreams: Architecture and Engineering Feats” 
  • Custom histories for specialized industries or neighborhoods – just ask us!

our chicago experts have been featured!

tour company featured in entrepreneur logo
chicago hyperlocal media feature


Our expert Chicago public speakers know how to motivate a crowd for a fun and insightful keynote speech. Our tour company has been top-rated since 2010 on TripAdvisor and Yelp

And we’ve delivered compelling, thought-provoking presentations to tens of thousands of curious conference and special event guests. 

We love to share the stories and places in Chicago’s history, architecture, and culture that even locals don’t know. 

Extremely knowledgeable and engaging!
The presenter was excellent - lively, knowledgeable, fun.

curious about a public speaking event?





Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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