Have you ever heard a professional salesperson sum up the benefits of his product or service in a matter of a few seconds? Have you ever heard a professional speaker or presenter break down a very complex process into simple terms in just a few minutes? Have you ever heard a professional networker sum up a multidimensional compensation plan in terms that someone without any prior network marketing experience could understand?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, then you have experienced someone who has mastered the fine art of micro-presentation.

A micro-presentation is simply a shortened version of a full presentation that focuses on getting the prospect's attention. With people's attention spans getting shorter all the time, and an information environment that constantly threatens us with overload, you don't always have the luxury of conducting a full-blown presentation. You cannot afford not to master the skill of micro-presentation!

In my work as a corporate speaker and consultant on the topic of mental toughness training, my prospects are usually vice presidents of Fortune 500 sales teams. These people are extremely busy; even when they call me from a referral, they give me only a couple of minutes to persuade them to hire me. This is where micro-presentation comes into play.

The prospect says, "I understand you've generated some major-league results with XYZ company; what exactly did you do to make that happen?"

Knowing I have to grab his attention fast, I say: "We taught their salespeople and managers how to think like professional athletes."

This sentence grabs his attention and takes four seconds to deliver.

Next, he says, "How did you do that?"

I reply with another benefit-driven sound bite: "We taught them how to control their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes--before, during and after the sales presentation or coaching session."

That phrase gives the prospect a little more information and takes seven seconds to deliver.

Next, he says, "I see. How does the training work?"

Okay, now I've been given a bit of a platform, and I can get into a little more detail.

"We deliver a six-hour live training session for the management team, and follow it up with a weekly one-hour conference call for 12 weeks. This gives the managers a head start on their sales teams so they can help coach them through the process. Next, we conduct the six-hour training for the sales team, followed by 12 months of weekly one-hour conference calls. After 12 months, the managers take over as the coaches of the mental toughness process, which you continue as an ongoing process in the company. It's a one-time investment for a lifetime worth of results."

That entire piece takes about 35 seconds to deliver. Add up all three pieces and you have a 42-second presentation. The secret is carefully handcrafting every single word for maximum impact, then memorizing and rehearsing the presentation so it sounds smooth and natural.

Is it worth the time and effort? It has been for me. What about for you? What is a solid distributor worth to you over a lifetime? Would it be worth getting good at this for a couple of million dollars? I'm going to assume that you think it's worth it.

Let's look at some micro-scripts for your business.

Let's say you bump into a sharp prospect in an elevator. You get into a conversation and she asks you what you do for a living. You've got 30 seconds or less to get her interested, or chances are you're never going to see her again.

You might say, "I'm a recruiter for a national company searching for talent," or, "I help people develop six- and seven-figure incomes," or, "I help people build their dream lives."

Each of these takes only seconds to deliver, yet is sexy enough to grab the prospect's attention. They are also designed to draw the same response, which is, " How do you do that?"--to which you might answer, "By signing them on to endorse a world-class product line to their contact base," or, "By helping them build an international distribution network for our products and services," or "By helping them construct an international distribution pipeline that carries our products and services to 10 different countries around the world."

Again, each of these three takes only seconds to deliver, providing you have rehearsed it. The goal is to pique the prospect's interest, then ask for her business card before the elevator door opens. Then you can call her and deliver a full one-on-one.

Be prepared for the prospect to ask, "Is this network marketing?"--and to respond with another micro-presentation: "Of course it is, people are tired of being pushed around by big companies." Or, "Sure it is. Have you had any exposure to network marketing?" or, "Yes, but probably not the network marketing you're thinking of. That went out years ago."

Whatever words you decide to use are fine as long as you internalize them so they become yours. If you take the time to create the micro-presentation in your own words, you'll be more than satisfied with the results.

Steve Siebold is co-founder of the Gove-Siebold Group, a training organization that helps networkers develop world-class communication skills. www.networkmarketing.com/link/siebold