Example Letter #1
I wish to advise you that I will not be attending the August convention in San Francisco, and will consequently be unable to participate as a member of the panel on insurance for businesses. I have been ill and will require daily treatments for the next two months.
I regret my inability to assist you, but do look forward to working with you on other projects. In the meantime, Suzanne Johnson or Jane Doe of Doe Corporation should be able to assist you in your planning. I am sure they can also offer suggestions for someone to take my place on the panel.
I look forward to future collaboration and will be in touch with you as soon as I am up to speed again.
Example Letter #2
This will confirm my telephone call advising your secretary that unexpected work responsibilities necessitate my traveling abroad for three weeks. I must therefore ask you to postpone my tax audit that was scheduled for July 2. I will contact your office when I return and will then reschedule our appointment.
My bookkeeper has reviewed all my documentation to be sure it is complete, and I anticipate no further delays. If you need to get in touch with me, please leave a message on my home answering machine and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Example Letter #3
I am sorry that I must cancel my appointment to see the Governor at noon on December 21. My mother has been hospitalized for heart surgery and it is important that I be with her at this time. I anticipate that I will be in Boston for the next three months.
Before I return home, I will contact your office to reschedule my appointment. Please send the information I requested to my home address. My mail will be forwarded to me in Boston.
Example Letter #4
I regret that I will be unable to keep our 10:30 a.m. appointment next Friday, March 6. Our front office has just announced a new policy canceling all employee travel for the next six months. Until this restriction is lifted, I will have to conduct all our business by telephone, fax, or e-mail. While I will miss our personal work sessions, please be assured that I will continue to service your account as effectively as I have in the past.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Tell the reader why you must cancel or postpone the appointment. Be sure to identify the particular appointment by date, time, and place.
If you wish to reschedule, propose a new time and/or place, or invite the reader to get in touch with you.
Close on a positive note.