Must admit - I'm not very good at making small talk.
Slate.com: Seven Tips for Making Good Conversation With a Stranger (abbreviated, click for full article)
1. Comment on a topic common to both of you at the moment
2. Comment on a topic of general interest
3. Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a single word
4. If you do ask a question that can be answered in a single word, instead of just supplying your own information in response, ask a follow-up question
5. Ask getting-to-know-you questions.
6. React to what a person says
So what can you do when the conversation is such a struggle?
7. A friend argues that you should admit it! “We’re really working hard, aren’t we?” or “It’s frustrating—I’m sure we have interests in common, but we’re having a difficult time finding them.”