So, here's the thing about conversation that rezzeJ and kleinbl00 kind of touched on, but kind of didn't. Contrary to what some people seem to believe sometimes, every last person you meet has the potential to be absolutely fascinating to you. First and foremost, when you talk to people and you want to get to know them, start talking to them as if you already assumed that they're gonna blow you away. This brings about your inquisitive side and suddenly turns you from a passive listener waiting for your turn to speak into an active listener.
Here's a super simplified version.
Devac: Do you have any hobbies?
rd95: I like fishing.
D: That's cool. I'm into role playing games.
You waited to hear my response, not because you were interested in what I had to say, but because it's the polite thing to do. Then you gave your polite, expected response and now we're back where we started, struggling to find something to talk about. You learned something about me, but you didn't learn about me.
With active listening, it's a whole new ball game.
D: Do you have any hobbies?
r: I like fishing.
D: Oh? What do you like most about it.
r: Honestly? I'm not a very good fisherman and I don't catch anything very often and when I do, I do catch and release. I really like getting into the outdoors though, experience nature and the quiet a bit. There's a lot of beauty there.
D: I know what you mean. Are you a pretty big nature buff?
r: Totally. I've been that way ever since I was a kid. My parents used to take me hiking, exploring creeks, teaching me about animals. It's something that never left me.
With just a few more questions and an earnest desire to learn about me, you now know that I don't care about fishing for fishing's sake, I love nature, I love beauty, and I gave an example about how my parents taking an active, hands on role in my childhood helped me develop into who I am. Now you have more avenues to ask questions to know more about me and what was at first a conscious attempt to find me interesting becomes a subconscious, honest fascination.
Here's the real kicker. People love to talk about themselves, not because they're selfish and self centered, but it's because that's the one topic they know best of all. And when you give them the opportunity, asking them question after question with true interest, they actually like you more. You come across as polite, sincere, open, and friendly. That forty minutes spent talking to a person? It'll go by like lightning and there's a good chance, by the time things are said and done, you'll have a phone number, an e-mail, or at the very least, an interesting conversation.
I'm not pulling your leg here. This has worked for me every since college man. I fucking love talking to people and I'll talk to anyone about anything they're comfortable talking about and I always look forward to an opportunity to get someone new.
Edit: Added a point.