Make yourself comfortable. Put on some of your favorite music in the background. Soft music, music with a romantic undertone, as you prefer. Dim the lights (but not so low that you are unable to read your project book, wall chart, or index cards). Have a glass of water within reach. Take a deep breath and punch those numbers.
"Hello, I'm John Smith. No, I'm not peddling insurance, just my own sweet self. I'm the fellow who asked you for your phone number last night at the art gallery. Time to let her talk. Keep enough presence of mind to make the appropriate noises and grunts at the right times to let her know you're still there. Laugh at her funnies. Encourage her. Administer verbal strokes and smiles, as necessary.
Speak in your natural voice... you need not strain. Take care not to dwell overly much on yourself. I, I, I, I... talking about I and me constantly is boring, boring. Ask her about herself, question her *gently*. Let her talk. Listen. Listen. Respond. Pepper the conversation with humor, genuine good humor. Humor is the saving grace of human discourse.
There is an abundance, a veritable universe to talk about, to share:
1. Tell her about the time you almost skidded off the overpass because you were trying to juggle a soft drink and a baloney sandwich.
2. Share your most embarrassing moments growing up.
3. Explain why the sky gets dark at night (Olber's Paradox).
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4. Discuss the implications of not helping the refugees of Kosovo.
5. Discuss whether cats make better pets than dogs, or vice versa.
6. Give her your favorite exotic scrambled egg recipe.
7. Play her a song from your favorite album.
Avoid like the plague politics, religion, and conspiracy theories. There will be plenty of time to argue about these later in the relationship. Iffy topics include demonic possession and the occult, UFO's, and the weather. Subject that tend to arouse strong negative feelings or conversely, that evoke no feelings at all, are best left alone.
When the conversation starts to wind down, when you both run out of things to say - this is a signal to sign off. Tell her how much you enjoyed speaking with her, that her company, even at a distance, has enlivened your evening. Ask her, gently, if she would care to repeat the experience (assuming it has not been too painful for either of you). Hang the phone up and have a cold beer or glass of wine to celebrate.