During a conversation, imagine each sentence as a long horizontal string. Then imagine there’s a handle hanging down from each major word. You have the option of pulling any handle to start a new conversational thread. To level up your conversational creativity, you need to broaden your associations (ie Rich Associations) with each hook which gives you more directions in the conversation. Here is a game in how you can broaden your associations:
Verbal Tennis: Player One offers a word (noun or verb). Player Two responds immediately with a synonym or antonym. Then, player one responds with their own synonym or antonym. You can also use short stories instead of words. Example: hoard…donate…deny…save…
You should also increase your descriptions when possible from one word to rich images (bird…fat black bird balancing awkwardly on the skinny tree branch). This makes our imagination more creative. Going from ordinary associations to rich associations makes our thinking more vivid. An ordinary association stays with the familiar (cup…saucer, spoon, tea) while a rich association goes beyond the familiar (cup…World Cup, the Holy Grail, the cup that Socrates drank hemlock from).
Again, having ready access to a diverse set of associations is an important aspect of creative thinking.