I work for a german IT company where we have a monthly meet up next week, which includes a presentation e.g. about a technology. The event is outside of the working hours and not paid, it is more like a casual get together. I accepted the invitation two months ago.

Today my supervisor sent me an email, in which he assigned me for the presentation, while I am on vacation to prepare for a difficult exam (which leaves me with no time to work on a presentation), including next week.

What is the best way to politely decline this task?

Additional context: I could attend the event because in itself it doesn't take too much time.

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    Just be honest and tell him you need to concentrate on the exam please and can he find someone else. Most people would understand. – Kilisi Oct 6 '17 at 13:28
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    @Kilisi That is the answer. You may have to add some fluff to it, but that is the answer here... – Neo Oct 6 '17 at 13:30
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    @MisterSortofPositive answer it then – Kilisi Oct 6 '17 at 13:41

What is the best way to politely decline this task?

Just be honest and tell your manager you need to concentrate on the exam. Ask them if they could "please and can he find someone else".

Most people would understand, but if not then you may be stuck and have to do both. However by being honest and communicating your need, at least your manager can minimize this type of stuff going forward.

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    +1 I'd like to add that the supervisor may not have been fully aware of OP's exam schedule. I expect such a response to simply end in "Oh, sorry, didn't know that. Good luck, then." Adrian: but respond now, so the supervisor won't get into trouble finding a replacement. – Fildor Oct 6 '17 at 14:13

Simply say

"Sorry but I'm taking a few days off to prepare for my exam and won't be able to present because I won't have time to prepare."

Since this event is done on voluntary basis, there is nothing to worry about. Even if it was work sanctioned event, having other engagements is perfectly fine - as long as you give your manager notice ahead of time.

If you want to be a bit more diplomatic, you can add that you can present at the next meeting after your exam.

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