Decline an Invitation to Speak or Perform — Letter-Writing Tutorial


This letter must carry a tone of appreciation while expressing regret.


1. Express appreciation for the invitation, mentioning specifically what you were invited to do in a specific event on a specific day.


  • Thank you very much for asking me to speak at your meeting on October 24.
  • I am honored that you would consider me in your plans for your Labor Day festivities.
  • Thank you very much for inviting me to perform at the convocation on May 28.
  • I was surprised and honored to receive your invitation to speak to your society on December 7.
  • I am pleased that you would include me on your Easter program next Sunday.
  • I am flattered that you would ask me to give the opening address at our June 4 meeting.


  • am flattered that
  • am honored that
  • felt honored by
  • for thinking of me
  • in your plans for
  • inviting me to
  • thank you very much for
  • thank you for
  • to speak at
  • to perform at
  • to receive your invitation
  • was surprised and honored
  • would include me
  • would consider me
  • would ask me to
  • your flattering invitation
  • your kind invitation
  • your thinking of me
  • your very kind letter
  • your request that

2. Express regret that you are unable to accept the invitation, briefly mentioning the reason without elaboration.


  • I am very sorry that I have to decline the invitation, since I am scheduled to participate in a conference in Springfield on that day.
  • Unfortunately, your invitation was missent, so I didn't receive it until yesterday. I am sorry, but I simply cannot rearrange my schedule at this late date.
  • I wish I could be with you on this occasion, but we will be attending our daughter's graduation on that day.
  • Please accept my apologies. I have already accepted another invitation to perform that evening.
  • I regret that I will not be able to speak on October 24, since that is the day we leave for our European tour.


  • am very sorry that
  • am so sorry
  • am scheduled to
  • had already accepted
  • have to decline
  • must regretfully decline
  • on this occasion
  • on that day I will
  • please accept my apologies
  • regret that I cannot
  • schedule is full
  • simply cannot make it
  • that is the day of
  • will not be able to
  • will be attending
  • will be out of town
  • will be away
  • will be unable to
  • wish I could be with you
  • would have loved to

3. If appropriate, suggest a qualified replacement.


  • May I suggest that you consider Jane Doe to take my place?
  • However, you may wish to approach my colleague, John Doe, who also performs with my group.
  • You may wish to consider Jane Doe, who is rapidly becoming a popular speaker on this topic.
  • If you would like, I could suggest several names of persons who I believe you would enjoy hearing from.


  • a popular speaker
  • also working in this field
  • entertaining and knowledgeable
  • if you would like
  • in a related field
  • making a name for herself
  • may wish to invite
  • may I suggest
  • may wish to approach
  • may wish to consider
  • might enjoy hearing from
  • my colleague is an expert on this topic
  • often speaks on this subject
  • performs with my group
  • is rapidly becoming
  • suggest several other names
  • suggesting that you contact
  • take the liberty of
  • to take my place

4. Express wishes for the event's success.


  • My sincere wishes for an enjoyable and informative evening.
  • Thanks again and have a wonderful evening.
  • Best wishes for success. I hope I can attend next time.
  • I am sure the conference will be rewarding for all.
  • I hope everything turns out well at your meeting.
  • Best wishes to you all. Please let me know how things turn out.


  • adjust your plans successfully
  • am sure that
  • an enjoyable evening
  • best wishes for success
  • enjoy a delightful
  • enjoyable and informative
  • from your description of the program
  • have a wonderful
  • hope things go smoothly
  • hope everything turns out well
  • hope I can attend next time
  • hope it goes well
  • hope you will be able to
  • make up your program
  • rewarding for all
  • sincere wishes for
  • sounds well worth attending
  • sure it will be
  • to your complete satisfaction
  • will be an outstanding success
  • wish you all the best
  • wish you well

Related Resources

Still can't find the right words for your invitation letter?

4,001 Business, Sales & Personal Letters

You will with our 500 letter-writing tutorials!

  1. Find the invitation letter that fits your needs and copy it directly into Microsoft Word or your favorite word processor.
  2. Or let our 500 letter-writing tutorials guide you step-by-step through the writing process, suggesting sample phrases and sentences for each writing step. In minutes, you can write an effective invitation letter.
  3. Print your invitation letter and send it!

Try our letter-template software risk free when you buy at

If after 30 days you are not satisfied, return it for a full refund



Easy Letters

$19.99 / Download


3,001 Business & Sales Letters

3,001 Business & Sales Letters

$29.99 / Download


1 $19.99 value free with purchase of our software for Windows (not Macintosh)

2 Free with purchase of our software for Windows (not Macintosh)