There are many simple ways to avoid this situation.
If you are talking to a woman here are some tips to keep the conversation going.
First, though, remember that you don't have to have something scintillating to say every second.
Here are some ideas:
* Point to someone else in the room, a man, woman, couple, whatever and ask "What do you think his/her/their story is?"
* Be VERY up on the current news, current cultural events in your area, etc. Be knowledgeably enough to talk about it.
For instance, you can say, I just can't believe the nurses are on strike. Why don't we pay nurses more, they have such an important job. I remember the time, I broke my foot and the nurse who cared for me was a saint .... (And so on). This brings me to my next point, which is:
* Have a story to tell. It can be something like the time you were skateboarding at night on the Spanish Steps in Barcelona, broke your leg and ended up extending your trip to Europe. It could be how you are convinced the house you grew up in was haunted.
The point is to have your story memorized. Practice it over and over again - either out loud by yourself or to anyone you know until you have it down pat. Then you can always pull it out in a pinch.
* Say you have been craving Cuban food (or a good hamburger or whatever) and ask if she has a good recommendation.
If she says she has no idea, ask her what her favorite food is and/or her favorite restaurant. This leads me to my next point:
* Get her to talk about herself. Don't interview or grill her, that is awkward, uncomfortable and everyone hates that, but do be curious and ask questions that aren't too personal or probing.
If she gives a short answer, bring something else up before asking another one. Don't keep firing questions at her.
* What else can you bring up? Don't be afraid to compliment her, but make it honest, sincere, and to the point.
Not something like "You are so beautiful." But something that speaks to her as a person, such as "I really dig your blue velvet coat - it seems so Gothic." Or something like "I really like how your eyes get so sparkly when you laugh." Make it genuine and make sure it is not cheesy.
So these are just a few ideas to keep the conversation going with a woman. But really, the most important bit of advice I could give is to practice. Practice talking to women, men, small children, elderly people every chance you get until you become a comfortable conversationalist.