Decline an Invitation to Speak or Perform • Example Letters, Guides and Samples
This letter must carry a tone of appreciation while expressing regret.
How to write this invitation letter:
- Express appreciation for the invitation, mentioning specifically what you were invited to do in a specific event on a specific day.
- Express regret that you are unable to accept the invitation, briefly mentioning the reason without elaboration.
- If appropriate, suggest a qualified replacement.
- Express wishes for the event's success.
Example Letter #1
My sincere thanks for the thoughtful invitation to speak at your banquet next month. I am sorry that my travel plans will take me away during that week, so I won't be able to be part of the program; otherwise, I would be pleased to accept your invitation.
If you do not have another person in mind, you might consider inviting John Doe, who recently returned from an assignment in China. I think you would find his insights very interesting. In any case, I wish you a very successful evening. Thank you for thinking of me.
Example Letter #2
Thank you for the invitation to perform at your university's April 18 commencement exercises. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept because I have already committed to perform for another organization on the same day. However, my good friend, John Doe, is an accomplished classical pianist and may be willing to play. You can reach him by telephone at 555-5555 or by mail at the following address:
648 Maple Lane
Centerville, Kansas 12346
Please accept my best wishes for the future of your school and its graduates.
Example Letter #3
It is an honor to be asked to sing at your grandfather's funeral on Saturday. He was a wonderful man. I regret not being able to express my appreciation for him through music, but I have another commitment in Springfield on that day. Please know that I would love to sing if I could. Please accept my regrets.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Express appreciation for the invitation, mentioning specifically what you were invited to do in a specific event on a specific day.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- 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.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- 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.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- 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.
Sample Sentences for Step 4
- 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
- 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