I'm not saying that I've mastered conversation. Nowhere near. But I admire good conversationalists. It's a subtle but practiced skill, an art. Writers are generally assumed to be horrible at it -- either loud braggadocios like Hemingway or introverts like J.D. Salinger, pushing his peas all around on a plate. So that's good for me, the bar is set low.
There are, however, generally accepted rules which hold true from Emily Post to my Grandma Millie who said "You have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you talk."
Listen, really listen.
Speak clearly and easily, but not too much.
Don't talk about yourself,
Aviva has great conversational skills. Watch her in our beauty parlor scene. (She asked me there because my hair was a disaster, but also to talk about how the trip went in London.)