Whether you are talking with friends or on a date it is important to keep the conversation going. Those dead spots should not be of major concern unless you get stuck in a particular place and can't interject to say something moving. Here are a few tips about communication that can help you.
Ask questions: Amazingly enough simply asking the other person a question about their life, what they like, if they are working on any projects can make a difference. Sometimes this prompts them to open a new avenue.
Try Humor: There are times when being a little silly and having something fun to say can make a difference in the overall discussion. When people are having a good time they are more likely to talk and be engaging.
Say Something About Yourself: You don't want to spend all of your time talking about yourself. However, there are times when it just makes sense to talk a little about your interests so that the other person can be engaged.
Avoid Taboo Subjects: Unless you know the person well it is wise to avoid taboo subjects like politics. People have different opinions and it isn't wise to put them further into a hole.