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Declining Invitation to Speak







Guidelines : Declining Invitation to Speak

Declining Invitations to Speak

Guidelines and Alternate Phrases

  • Express appreciation for the invitation.
  • Thank you so much for thinking of me in choosing a speaker for your upcoming May 2 luncheon.
  • I was delighted to get your invitation to address the group on May 2.
  • Your invitation to speak to the ECCO Council on May 2 was a flattering surprise. Your programs are always so outstanding I’ve taken the invitation as quite a compliment.
  • I was pleased to receive your letter asking me to address the ECCO Council on May 2.
  • Thank you for your confidence in asking me to address your group on May 2.
  • Express regret that you must decline. Your regret sounds more sincere if you can give a specific explanation of what prevents your acceptance.
  • Although I’d love the opportunity to speak to your group, I don’t feel adequately knowledgeable on the subject you have in mind. My previous experience has been limited to….
  • Unfortunately, I have a meeting in London that day, and, because so many people are involved, I simply cannot change it.
  • I have had an out-of-town seminar scheduled for quite some time and will be traveling on the day of your dinner meeting.
  • Unfortunately, I have a previous commitment with a client on that day and simply cannot rearrange my schedule at this time.
  • Refer the organization to another expert if you think that is appropriate.
  • If you have no one else in mind to address that topic, give me a call and perhaps I’ll be able to suggest a colleague who could speak knowledgeably on the subject.
  • I suggest you call Harry Smith, whom I’ve heard on several occasions. He is a dynamic speaker who can tackle even the toughest questions from your most experienced attendees.
  • Wish success for the event.
  • You have my very best wishes for a successful meeting.
  • Best of luck to you in finalizing your program.
  • I know the program will be outstanding.
  • I’ll be eager to hear from those who have the opportunity to attend. The programs seem to get better every year.
  • I hope the dinner meets all your expectations.
  • With such attention to detail, I’m sure you’ll have a fine program.
  • My best wishes in lining up the additional speakers for the regional meeting.

Example 1: Example of declining invitation to speak

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip
Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Shotwell:

Your invitation to address the Economic Development Council was very flattering. I would very much like to speak to the group; unfortunately, however, I am program chairman for a CPA association meeting in Nashville the night of May 5. I’ve checked my meeting and travel schedule, and there’s simply no way I can make it back to Denver by noon on May 6.

I have an alternate suggestion you may want to consider. Fred Hanke, our senior vice president, could make an excellent presentation on the same subject; you can reach him at 123-3456.

Thank you again for the invitation. Best wishes for an informative meeting.

Sincerely,

Example 2: Declining invitation to speak

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Ms. Hughes:

Thank you for your invitation to speak at your upcoming public works conference on November 8. I am sorry, but I must decline. I have a board meeting that day, and given the critical nature of our agenda, I am afraid I would not make it to the Regency.

If you have not yet considered an alternative speaker, I would suggest you give Elizabeth Forestall a call. She is extremely well-versed in matters of public works legalities—my firm has used her as an independent consultant on a number of occasions. Moreover, I know from first-hand experience that she gives thought provoking, factually accurate presentations. Her number is 583-7952.

I wish you well on your conference, and regret that I cannot be a part of it.

Sincerely,

Example 3: Letter declining invitation

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Frost:

I have just received your invitation to be keynote speaker at the upcoming Amateur Oceanographers Conference. You know how much I love to speak about abyssal exploration, its possibilities and ramifications. I’m sure, then, you will understand how disappointed I am to have to decline your invitation.

I am scheduled to begin a six-week long research project on behalf of Woods Hole and the military, and we depart on the same day you wanted me to speak.

All the best with your conference. I recall being told you planned to videotape the sessions this year. If so, I would like to order one. If I can’t participate in the conference, I can at least watch it!

Regards,

Example 4: Declining an invitation

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Letterman:

Thank you for your invitation to do three interactive sessions on desktop publishing at your October 3 training conference. As much as I enjoy teaching people how to use such programs, I am afraid I must decline. My daughter is getting married that weekend, and is expecting me to walk her down the aisle!

Bruce Kerr is an associate of mine, and he frequently teaches such classes. You may want to get in touch with him. I’m not sure of his home number but I do know he works in the computing division at CitiCorp. He is a true professional, and your students would no doubt learn a lot from him.

Good luck with your conference!

Cordially,

Example 5: Letter to decline invitation

Company Name or Letterhead
Address
City, State Zip

Date

Addressee
Address
City, State Zip

Dear Mrs. Esteban:

I was so pleased to be asked to speak on breaking into publishing at your upcoming Writer’s Conference. Unfortunately, I will be in Missoula, Montana that weekend, on a book tour.

I’m sure you know how much I respect your organization and the work it does. I want you to know I would be happy to speak another time, at a monthly meeting, or a non-fiction seminar, or whenever you feel it would be appropriate.

I wish you the best of luck with your conference.

Yours Truly,

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