Chicago Public Speaker

For an engaging, professional presentation of Chicago architecture, history and culture.


With more than a decade’s experience as a tour guide, Chicago Detours’ Executive Director Amanda Scotese is a professional Chicago public speaker. Groups enjoy her casual, informative, and fun approach for special events, conferences, and “lunch and learn” programs in Chicago.

Public Speaking Credentials

  • Executive Director of Chicago Detours
  • MA in the Humanities, University of Chicago
  • BA in Literature, University of Michigan
  • Ten years as Tour Guide with Rick Steves

Public Speaking Options

  • Overview of Chicago history and architecture
  • Tips on Chicago travel
  • The Chicago Pedway System
  • Chicago innovation over history
  • Off-the-beaten path Chicago
  • Chicago neighborhoods
  • The architecture of Chicago’s private clubs

Presentations Include

  • Visuals presented via projector with maps, historic photos, archival film clips
  • Giveaways like gift cards to Chicago tours or printed Pedway maps

Examples of Previous Presentations

“Cultural Collections: Architecture and History”

Chicago Union League Club

This lecture explored the architectural history of the Union League Club’s current building and its cultural relevancy to club members today. Amanda had studied in the Union League Club’s Archives to create this Chicago public speaking presentation. She shared fun, archival images of club activities and its architecture with an audience of members and guests.

“A Place on Madison Street”

University of Chicago Women’s Alliance

Using images of the landscape along Madison Street, this presentation shared a story of the city through a virtual journey from downtown Chicago to East Garfield Park. It was inspired by her creative thesis project with her Master’s in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. The presentation shared ideas on how we emotionally and psychologically relate to landscapes.

“Monday Luncheons: The Chicago Pedway System”

Much Shelist Chicago Law Firm

For this “lunch and learn” talk, Amanda gave historical background on the Chicago Pedway system to Chicago locals. Her public speaking presentation was guided by the story of her explorations in the Pedway System for the design of the Chicago Detours Pedway Map. All attendees received a printed Pedway map.

“The Chicago Skyline and Grant Park View”

Michael Best and Friedrich LLP Law Firm

Amanda used her expertise in Chicago architecture to custom design a presentation about Grant Park and surrounding buildings as seen from the windows of the Michael Best office. Keeping with the Chicago Detours mission, Amanda conducted in-depth research to give Chicago residents new ideas on downtown buildings and spaces they had seen numerous times.

“Amanda’s presentation was the high point of our event. Everyone discovered things they didn’t know about, including those from Chicago.”

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