So sagen Sie Termine für Ihren Chef professionell ab

I’m sorry, he can’t make it
How to postpone an appointment on the telephone

Ihr Chef hat einen wichtigen Termin, ist aber  aus geschäftlichen oder privaten Gründen verhindert. So sagen Sie den Termin professionell ab.

Your boss is behind schedule on a project he is planning. He asks you to phone round and put back a departmental meeting until further notice. Or he is called to an emergency on the factory floor and has to postpone a meeting at a client’s office. Or he calls in sick and asks you to reschedule all his appointments for that day.

When you phone, apologise and  give a brief explanation why he or she can’t keep the appointment. There’s no need to go into too much detail, but it is a matter of courtesyto give a reason.

This is what the phone call will include

  • your boss’s name
  • the name of the person he or she has the appointment with
  • the date and time of the appointment
  • an apology
  • a brief explanation why your boss can’t keep the appointment
  • suggestions for an alternative date

Instead of saying ‘postpone’, you can also say ‘reschedule’, ‘move to another date’ or put off. Remember that Termin is ‘appointment’ and Datum is ‘date’.

If you say ‘My boss has a date with a client’ it has a completely diffrent meaning. A date is a romantic ‘rendezvous’.

Making a new appointment

This is how you ask for a new  appointment
‘Could we arrange a new appointment now? What about the first of May?

This is how you offer someone a new appointment
I’d like to offer you a new appointment if I may. Could he manage September 7th?


Use these building blocks next time you need to postpone or cancel an appointment:

If you have to postpone an outward appointment

I’m calling
on behalf
Frank Rumscheid. 
I’m sorry but he has to postpone
his appointment at 3.30.

I’m afraid he can’t make it
this afternoon.
He’s been called to an emergency
at the plant.

He’s been held up in Brussels.

If you have to postpone an appointment in your firm

I’m calling
the management
meeting that was
planned for the 24th.

the planning meeting scheduled for
next week.

Mr Lester’s appoint-
ment with Mark
I’m sorry to tell you it’s been

I’m sorry, but Mr Ortloff has to put
the meeting off

Mark asked me to let
you know he can’t get away.
He’s sorry, but
he’ll have  to postpone the appointment.
put off – until the 23rd

postponed – for two weeks

rescheduled – to the third of April

He’s been called away to an
emergency meeting.

He has to see to some urgent
family business

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