Talking effectively is about more than just knowing how to talk: it is about knowing why to talk.
Never simply waste your effort being a blabber mouth; have a direction, a purpose, and, if nothing else, be conducive to the atmosphere you are looking to build by acting in line with it.
Leading a conversation is essential for helping people lose their anxieties and feel comfortable around you. To achieve that task you have to step up to the plate and avoid the trap of being dependent on others to do all the lifting. You then need to guide the conversation topics in a way that reflects what direction you are thinking of moving in.