Ovation Spruces Up PowerPoint Shows
Regardless of your line of work, someday you'll have to create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Not everyone likes them, but everyone uses them, and Serious Magic's $100 Ovation software can help make your presentations more visually interesting.
I tested a free beta version of the software (the final product will sell for $100). To work with Ovation, you must use PowerPoint 2002 or later to create your presentations. First, from within Ovation's clean interface, you import your presentation. Using the Choose Look tab you can select from more than 100 preset combinations of backgrounds, colors, and text. You can add new still and motion graphics, too--a good way to spice up a boring slide.
I found some of Ovation's niftiest features under the program's Present tab, which lets you view a presenter-only screen while the application displays the standard presentation to your audience. Here you can add a teleprompter-like index card for notes and preview your next slide for seamless segues.
A few aspects of Ovation's interface frustrated me. For example, I would have liked more template customization options and an easier way to insert images. Still, overall, my gripes are pretty minor. Mostly I found myself appreciating how visually interesting and polished the program made my existing PowerPoint presentations look.
Serious Magic Ovation
Preproduction software, not rated
This convenient, easy-to-use tool helps you make your PowerPoint presentations more interesting.
Street: Free beta; $100 for final product
Current prices (if available)
Melissa J. Perenson