Attending a meeting is an important part of business, but sometimes you will need to decline a meeting. Sometimes a meeting is not more than a waste of time. In case a meeting is not important for you, you will need to decline to attend it. But, it all depends on the type of meeting.

Whenever you receive a meeting invitation, read it carefully. If you notice it is irrelevant, there is no need to attend the meeting, not prepared for it, or any other reason you are not going to attend it. You will need to decline the meeting invitation.

Declining a meeting leaves a positive impact on the other participants and the invitee. But wait, are you familiar with how to decline a meeting invitation? You will need to decline a meeting politely and professionally.

How to politely decline a meeting invitation?

In case you received a meeting invitation, and you think some other work is more important than this meeting, you will need to decline it. Declining a meeting invitation politely and professionally is an important part of the business. Not attending a meeting without any prior notice not only leaves a bad impact on your personality, but it may suffer your business a lot.

Here I am going to describe the polite ways to decline a meeting invitation.

May I send another person to attend the meeting on behalf of mine?

You can write a meeting decline letter to the invitee with this suggestion. Never forget to mention a valid reason to send another person on behalf of you when declining a meeting.

If you are going to send someone else then, propose a member for the discussion who is familiar with the matter that is going to discuss in the meeting.

May I give my suggestions on the proposed meeting agenda in advance?

Take some time to audit the meeting agenda and prepare some reports. You will need to write down the proposed suggestions briefly and send it to the invitee before time.

May I take part in the most important part of the meeting?

In case if you have a short time for attending a meeting. Ask the attendee, can you please pardon me to remain in the meeting for the whole time.

Could you please re-schedule the meeting for another time?

If you are not prepared for the meeting and still researching the proposed agenda, you may ask to re-schedule the meeting for another time. If that’s the reason you are not going to attend the meeting, write a reply to the invitee in advance.

Reply with a proper answer like you are on vacation, not prepared the report due to some circumstances, and some other valid reasons.


Being in an excessive number of meetings can destroy your business schedule and squeeze your work capacity. Instead of saying directly NO to attend a meeting, choose one proper reason, and write to the invitee before time.

Your valid reason for not attending a meeting can save your time and help others to understand your personality as a committed person.