We determine explicitly the normalized potential, a Weierstrass-type representation, of a superconformal surface in an even-dimensional sphere S
2n in terms of certain normal curvatures of the surface. When the Hopf differential is zero the potential embodies a system of first order equations governing the directrix curve of a superminimal surface in the twistor space of the sphere. We construct a birational map from the twistor space of S
2n into ℂP
n(n+1)/2. In general, birational geometry does not preserve the degree of an algebraic curve. However, we prove that the birational map preserves the degree, up to a factor 2, of the twistor lift of a superminimal surface in S
6 as long as the surface does not pass through the north pole. Our approach, which is algebro-geometric in nature, accounts in a rather simple way for the aforementioned first order equations, and as a consequence for the particularly interesting class of superminimal almost complex curves in S
6. It also yields, in a constructive way, that a generic superminimal surface in S
6 is not almost complex and can achieve, by the above degree property, arbitrarily large area.