Keep the conversation at a minimum.
1) The pt needs to concentrate on chewing and swallowing. You need to be observing the pt as well. There is a choking/aspiration risk here. The pt most likely already has some sort of deficit in the first place if they require assistance.
2) Keep talk focused on the food. "Does it taste good?", "Please swallow again", "Let's have a drink now", etc.
3) If the pt insists on talking (a lot) try to refocus the pt on the meal. Also, if the pt tries to talk with a full mouth, it is okay to express concern that they will choke. Tell them to concentrate on chewing and swallowing-- not talking.
4) Silence is okay! We do not need to talk 24/7!
Feeding was scary for me too when I first started. I would only give my pt one bite of carrot at a time. I was terrified I would choke my pt! The more seasoned aide, who was watching me, burst out with a wry laugh and shook her head, "You ain't gonna ever get done feeding her that way!"
However, I know that with some pts, that wee bitty bites are the only way to safely go and, yes, the feeding will take a long time. Other pts do much better and can handle just as much on a spoon as you or I can.
It's a trial-and-error learning process... but when I don't know how a pt eats, to this day, I assume they may have swallowing issues and start with small bites of soft food and go slow. As I get a feel for the pt, I may progress onward as the pt tolerates.
Keep talk at a minimum and start "small, soft and slow".