I am terrible at small talk and conversations in general but I have found one focus that has helped me greatly.
Talk about what's going on in the room. And ask questions about it too. If topics you are interested in come up that is awesome and you can go from there. If not just talk about anything your senses are receiving right then.
Don't shit talk people but point out the lady dancing in the bar and say "wow look at her go! She is having an awesome time". Or "last time I was here we...". Don't be afraid to have a negative opinion just don't be a dick. If the new music sucks say it. But say it like "I always loved when this place played 90s cover songs, I wish they'd go back to that once in a while".
If it's someone's house find a unique item or picture and ask about it. Or if they have obviously put in new floors or something ask about that and let them talk.
If you go in with a laundry list of topics, you are going to sound awkward or like you are forcing it. Just talk about what's in front of your face.
At least that's what has worked best for me.