From articles like Things to Talk About on the Phone to Romantic Conversation Starters, you'll find topics to keep you from becoming tongue tied even when you're feeling a bit nervous and unsure of how your date is going.
You'll also find articles that can help you get the answers you want without coming across as intrusive.
The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. But some people, overeager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast.
Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent.
And if nothing else, it's a great venue to practice flirting with minimal risk.