The reality is that language learning is a fairly slow process. However, most people have a lot of passive knowledge built up, and it is possible to activate this in not too much time. Focus on the types of conversations you're likely to have over and over, and make sure you really master those topics. And when someone asks a question, be sure to answer in as much detail as possible- this will give you confidence and show your partner that you understand the language! I really recommend the book "How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately" by Boris Shekhtman if you're interested in these techniques, it really helped me.