Decline an invitation to speak or perform. Sample letter


  1. The letter must be written with a pleasant tone while expressing apology.
  2. Thank the sender and tell him or her that you appreciate the invitation. Include the details of the invitation, the name of the event and the date.
  3. Tell him or her that you are sorry that you are declining the invitation. Shortly explain the reason you are unable to attend.
  4. If possible, recommend another qualified replacement.
  5. Wish the event's success.


[Senders Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

Thank you for your invitation to address your annual convention in October. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept your thoughtful invitation as I will be overseas during that time.

You may, perhaps, consider approaching Jenny Smith who is also an expert in stem cell research and who has just returned from a study program in France. I am sure her experience and knowledge would be of interest to your members. I know your conference will be a success and thank you for considering me.


[Senders Name]
[Senders Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] - Optional -
cc: [Name of copy recipient] - Optional -