Decline an Invitation to Speak or Perform | Letter-Writing Guide


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

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