Even if you don't have similar interests as your date, you can keep the conversation going by talking about something you're passionate about. It's always fun to listen to someone talk about a hobby, cause, or adventure that they are excited about, and you might even get interested in something new. And when you talk about something you enjoy, it will surely engage your date and keep the conversation flowing.
Share a funny childhood story. Sometimes these can be quite telling about a person. They are also a great way to break the ice, laugh and remind us to step out of "work mode" .
Walking up to a total stranger and starting a conversation can be terrifying, but if you don't learn to overcome your fear and wait for them to approach you first, you might end up waiting in the wings forever. Remember, they have the same fears and desires as you, so go ahead and take a few risks. Most people are polite and the consequence of approaching someone is always worse in our minds than it is in real life.
Spend time in places you like, doing the types of things you really enjoy. Choose activities that will put you in a position to meet people who are like you or who at least have similar interests. You will be in your element and having fun, which is always attractive.
Having a genuine interest in getting to know new people and keeping an open mind while you're networking might end up being more valuable than you think. You just never know who that person might introduce you to in the future. Similarly, if you meet someone you like, but you don't feel a love connection, why not offer to set him or her up with a friend?
Never turn down a party invitaion or an opportunity to expand your network of friends and potial dates. Seek like-minded people who can introduce you to colleagues of a similar quality. Expanding your network will ensure a life rich with opportunity and happy times.